A Clare couple has claimed a cheque for €1m at the National Lottery and revealed that the winning ticket was kept safe inside a cushion in their bedroom for more than two weeks.
The husband-and-wife syndicate scooped the top prize in the Lotto Plus 1 draw on Saturday, June 22, but waited until the news had properly sunk in before claiming their windfall.
The winning ticket was sold at Reddan’s Store and Sixmilebridge Post Office, in Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare.
The husband said: “I occasionally buy my tickets in Reddan’s Store as I pass by on the way to work. It was the Sunday when I checked the ticket and when the app told me to contact the National Lottery we knew it was us.
"We haven’t told anyone so we just unzipped one of the cushions in the bedroom, put the ticket inside, and then put the cushion back on the chair and didn’t look at it until we were ready to make the journey up to Dublin to collect the money.”
The Clare couple, who wish to remain anonymous, admitted they were “still pinching themselves” over their win and have vowed to look after their nearest and dearest.
The husband said: “We have a family so we will look after them all of course.
"First and foremost we are doing to clear the mortgage and any debts – do all of the sensible things first. Then we will start making plans on how to enjoy the win.
"It’s all just so hard to take in. I’m still pinching myself.”
The second big prize claim of the day was a man from North County Dublin who won the top prize of €250,000 on last Wednesday’s Lotto Plus 2 draw.
The man, who lives in Skerries, was in the Winner’s Room with members of his family and, like the Clare couple before him, he promised that he would use his newfound windfall to look after his family.
He said: “I don’t normally check my Lotto numbers until the morning after the draw but I just thought at the spur of the moment to check them that night before I headed to bed.
"Once I knew it was me who won, do you think I could get a wink of sleep?"
"It’s an amazing feeling and the best part was yesterday when I told the family about the win.”
He bought his winning Lotto ticket at Gerry’s Fresh Food store on Strand Street in Skerries in North County Dublin.
He was one of two Dublin people to win that prize amount on that Lotto Plus draw, after a Dublin woman claimed her €250,000 Lotto Plus 2 prize last Friday.