Every move you make, every step you take, is under close watch in Kinlough as locals try to figure out if the Lotto jackpot winner is among them.
The €11,179,620 winning weekend jackpot ticket was sold in McGowan's Spar, Main St, Kinlough.
Noel McGowan, owner of the lucky shop, said they had no more details other than it was a normal ticket and the winner picked their own numbers. He said they don't know what date or time it was sold.
The winning numbers were 10, 11, 12, 15, 18, 19 and the bonus number was 35.
Noel said the news has created “a great buzz in the shop and throughout the village of Kinlough.”
They got a call after 9pm on Saturday night from National Lottery Headquarters to tell them their shop had sold the winning ticket. He said the shop was full on Sunday with people “checking their purses and wallets for tickets.”
He said there was a lot of “passing trade” on Saturday from Bundoran and visitors to Kiltyclogher. He did speculate that most visitors choose a quick pick, while locals tend to pick their numbers.
“I got a bit of a hop when I got the call Saturday night,” he revealed. Since then, Noel and his wife Martina have been busy shaking hands and having the banter with the locals.
Noel was “congratulating” most of his regulars as they popped in to the shop on Monday morning in the hope of figuring out the winner.
Everyone who came to Spar was looking for a clue as to the identity of the winner, with plenty of laughs and chuckles between staff and customers.
Fr Thomas Keogan, P.P., who announced the news at mass in Kinlough on Sunday morning told the paper, “there was no major increase in the collections at Mass on Sunday!” Fr Keoghan said he could not pick out anyone looking suspiciously happy at mass on Sunday when he revealed the news.
Fr Keoghan said he hoped the winner is one of his parishioners and wished them well.
Cashier Elaine Fox sold plenty of Lotto tickets last Saturday. She said many customers told her, “I will remember you if I win” so she is hoping the winner will remember to be generous! She said the shop has a staff syndicate and she thought they had won when she first heard the news.
Noel and Martina said they wish “good health and good luck to the winner” adding that they hope it is a local person. There is champagne at the door of the shop just incase the winner pops in!
Noel said he is delighted the shop has got a name for being lucky and hopes they can continue to sell winning tickets. He has ordered a big poster for outside his shop to announce the news. Since Sunday, the shop has already seen an increase in ticket sales.
The owners will get a cheque of €15,000 for selling the winning ticket, while Martina said she hopes to book a holiday soon. Noel said, “Christmas is coming.”
What advice do the McGowans have for the winner? “Sign the back of the ticket,” Noel quickly remarked, while Martina tells the winner to “maybe lie low for a while.”
Everyone agrees it will be difficult to hide €11.1 in Kinlough.
“Any irregular movement or spending will be analysed over the next few months,” they commented.
The busy Spar shop where Noel has been in business for the last 35 years, is due to celebrate it's centenary this year.
The shop which currently employs 20 staff has been in the McGowan family for 100 years and this win will certainly help with the celebrations!
It isn't the shop's first win. It is well known locally as a lucky place to but a ticket. Just last October they sold a Lotto Plus Two jackpot of €250,000. And ten years, ago two winning tickets in the same draw saw the winners receive €225,000 each.
It has been calculated that if the lucky person was to divide the winnings between the population of Leitrim, we would all get €350 – which would be nice.
The winnings have not been collected yet from Lotto HQ, but the rumours over the winner are set to continue for a while.