Clare lotto winner decides to remain anonymous

Clare lotto winner decides to remain anonymous

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Michael and Anne Corbett pose for a photographer outside their shop in Quin where Saturday’s Lotto jackpot winning ticket was purchased.
Michael and Anne Corbett pose for a photographer outside their shop in Quin where Saturday’s Lotto jackpot winning ticket was purchased.

The winners of Saturday’s €5.5m National Lottery jackpot have claimed their prize after a sleepless night and placing their ticket under their pillow overnight for safekeeping.

The lucky winners, who have opted remain private, discovered on Sunday that they had won Saturday’s Lotto jackpot worth €5,553,404. They purchased their €4 Quick Pick ticket in Michael Corbett’s shop in the village of Quin, Co Clare.

While Michael and Anne Corbett spoke with reporters and posed for photographs at their shop yesterday (Monday), the elated couple arrived at National Lottery offices in Dublin to collect their big cheque and celebrate with a few glasses of champagne.

“I didn’t sleep a wink last night. This is life-changing. I’ve never won anything in my life before. We’ll stay level-headed and take a bit of time to let the news settle before we decide what to do. It’s amazing to be a position to pay off all the bills and look after our families,” the man said.

“It just feels surreal. I checked those numbers over and over again. It’s like a dream,” his partner said.

The happy couple have said they plan to go away somewhere special for the night to celebrate their fantastic news.

Back in Quin however, speculation was still rife about the identity of the lucky winners.

Shopowner Michael Corbett received a call from Lottery headquarters shortly after 8.00am on Sunday to confirm that the winning ticket had been purchased in his store.

Speaking in his shop yesterday, Michael Corbett said: “We don’t know who it is. All we know is it’s someone who purchased a €4 Quick Pick here on Saturday but it’s great news for someone. We opened the shop as normal on Sunday morning and were very busy getting newspapers ready and all the time the phone kept ringing.”

Mr Corbett confirmed that usually, when a customer buys a Quick Pick ticket, it’s someone passing through the village.

“Locals would generally have set numbers but it’s usually someone passing through who does a Quick Pick. Hopefully it’s some local and best of luck to them,” Mr Corbett added.

It’s understood that Mr Corbett will receive €15,000 as the agent who sold the ticket.

Before learning that the winners had come forward Mr Corbett quipped: “I hope they come forward and claim their prize. I don’t know if the agent get’s their money if the price isn’t claimed.”

The shop, which has been run by successive generations of the Corbett family for over 100 years, had few small lotto wins previously. A €10,000 Daily Millions ticket was purchased in the store three months ago.

Mr Corbett is understood to have enjoyed some luck with a few lottery wins himself down the years but he was reluctant to elaborate on this.

Local councillor Sonny Scanlan said: “Good luck to whoever it was. I do hope though it was someone from the parish and someone who needed. Too often people win money that they don’t even need.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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