The mystery winner of last weekend’s €7m Lotto jackpot in Cork can sit back and relax for their life-changing cheque to arrive by post.
As champagne corks popped in the southside filling station which sold the winning ticket, the National Lottery confirmed that it has introduced new arrangements during lockdown to pay out the big prizes by cheque.
Normally, the winners of any prize over €15,000, or €10,000 online, had to present themselves at National Lottery HQ on Abbey St in Dublin to claim their prize.
But arising out of the lockdown travel restrictions, the Office of the Regulator of the National Lottery agreed to temporarily amend the lottery licence granted to Premier Lotteries Ireland to allow the big-prize winners to avail of an “approved postal claims process”.
Following rigorous verification checks, which includes the posting of valid forms of identification and proof of address to Lotto HQ, followed by secure video calls, the National Lottery now effectively posts a cheque to the lucky winner, using an ultra-secure process.
Last week, a Kerry family who hit a €9.7m jackpot in April, became the first Lotto jackpot winners to avail of the new postal claims.
The Cork winner, who has been in touch with Lotto HQ, is now going through the same detailed verification process before their cheque for a cool €6,933,904 will be posted to them.
Celebrations kicked off early in the city yesterday when Lotto bosses revealed that Saturday’s jackpot-winning ticket was sold at Murphy’s Circle K family-owned service station on Vicar’s Road in Togher.
Rumours were swirling locally that the winner is a local, given the travel restrictions were still in place last week when the ticket was sold.
“I have been absolutely bursting to share this amazing news but I have had to keep it to myself since yesterday evening,” he said.
“Anybody who knows the area surrounding Togher will know what a fantastic community we have here.
“Especially over the last number of months, we have been reminded of that great community spirit that we have and knowing that one of these people has won almost €7m is truly heart-warming.
“I have absolutely no idea who the winner is, whether it is a syndicate or a lucky single winner.
“Whoever it is, we wish them all the best of luck with their new found fortune and I hope they enjoy it.” Mr Murphy, who established the business on Vicar’s Road in 1995, said he had some suspicions that his store may have been the lucky selling agent for the big prize following local rumours.
But he said he didn’t allow himself to even dream about the win until he received official notification from the National Lottery.
“Funnily enough, there were rumours swirling around the area on Sunday that we sold the winning jackpot ticket but I assured everybody that I would be the first to know, apart from the winner of course,” he said.
“Now that the win is confirmed, we’re going to have a memorable day of celebrations in-store with our staff and customers, from two metres of course.
“I am lucky to have some of the hardest working staff you could hope for so once restrictions are lifted and our lives return to some form of normality, the entire store will be enjoying a night out on me to celebrate the win.”
This latest Lotto win is the sixth jackpot win this year with over €30m won in jackpot prizes alone.
In 2020, over €67 million has been won in prizes in the Lotto game which includes 11 new millionaires which have been created in the Lotto and Lotto Plus games.
The National Lottery has also doubled to 180-days the period of time during which winners can claim their prizes.
This means that any winners of Lotto and Lotto Plus, Lotto 54321, EuroMillions and EuroMillions Plus, Telly Bingo, Daily Millions and Daily Millions Plus draws from January 9 2020 until draws in the week of July 5 will have an extra three months to claim their win.