National Lottery name Thurles Ireland’s luckiest town

Niamh Dillon

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Niamh Dillon

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niamh.dillon@tipperarystar.ie

National Lottery name Thurles Ireland’s luckiest town

L-R: Paul Thomas, Field Sales Manager, National Lotto, Tadhg Delaney, Joanna Loughnane, Laura Jane Dee, Catherine O'Toole. Mary Grace National Lotto, Deirdre and Tom O'Toole

Thurles has been described as Ireland's luckiest town following a mega €17 million Euromillions jackpot win by a 32 member syndicate, just months after a winning €7.5 million ticket was also sold in the town.

Lotto officials confirmed on Wednesday that the €17 million jackpot was won by a 32 member syndicate from Stakelum’s Home and Hardware in Thurles.

Speculation mounted early on Wednesday that the €17 million jackpot was won in the town as news began to break among the syndicate members, many of whom only found out they were €543,000 richer when they clocked in for work that morning.

The win was discovered by the store’s financial controller Ger Sammon late on Tuesday night and contact was made with National Lottery HQ on Wednesday morning.

Pic: Celebrations were well under way in Eason in Thurles today which sold the winning €17m EuroMillions Jackpot ticket from Tuesday's draw. The shop is on a winning streak after selling a winning €7.5m Lotto Jackpot ticket last October. The winning 32-person EuroMillions syndicate from Stakelum’s Hardware in Thurles plan to travel to Lotto HQ next week to make their claim. Pictured at the shop today were from left to right. Easons Staff members celebrating: (LR)Tadhg Delaney, Laura Jane Dee, Catherine Ó Toole, Mary Grace, Field Sales Manager, National Lottery, Deirdre Ó'Toole, Tom Ó' Toole. Pic: Mac Innes Photography

A spokesperson for the 32-member syndicate spoke of the shock and delight of the group at their mammoth win.

“We simply can’t believe it. We are all in shock but absolutely delighted and it is great to see this massive amount of money shared with so many colleagues. We all get more than half a million Euros each which is a lovely amount of money.  We need some time to let this sink in and we look forward to going to Lotto HQ in the next week or so to get the cheque.” they said.

However while staff were indeed delighted to have won, Stakelum’s Hardware general manager Joe Connolly told the Tipperary Star that celebrations were "tempered" following the news that a syndicate member's father had passed away on Tuesday evening.

"Everyone is very happy to have won but out of respect to our colleague celebrations are being tempered. Some of our staff found out this morning as they came into work they had won and we also have staff out on holidays so we are in the process of contacting them as well," he said on Wednesday.

"It's super news for the town because there are 32 families going to benefit. Some of the syndicate have been members for over 40 years, some are ex-staff who remained in the lotto and some lads are in their 20's so it will benefit a hole cross section of the town," he said.

Elsewhere in the town, celebrations were in full force at the lucky shop that sold the winning ticket -  their second jackpot ticket in eight months.

“We’ve never seen such goodwill towards a win as this. Everyone in the town is absolutely thrilled for the Stakelum's staff,” said Eason's Thurles Tom O’Toole, adding that his staff were shocked to hear they had sold the winning ticket for a second time following last October’s €7.5 million win by another Thurles syndicate.

"We heard it was won by a Thurles syndicate early on Wednesday morning because Stakelum's went public with it right away but we didn't find out we had sold it until about 12.30 that day. It's very unusual to sell two winning tickets so close together so we're going to go for a third win now," he said.

Eason Thurles, which employs 12 part time and full time staff, will also receive a €25,000 cheque from Lotto HQ for their part in the Euromillions win.

"We don't know which member of staff sold the ticket but I do remember seeing Ger come in on Saturday morning to play the lotto. We'd have a few syndicate's in the town do their lotto with us and I was beyond thrilled when I heard it was Stakelum's. This win will change lives in the town," added Mr O'Toole.

Pic: Mr O'Toole

And it seems the rest of the county are also hoping to share in the good luck after a Lotto spokesperson revealed that Eason Thurles have reported a 20 percent increase in sales of scratchcards from the store since October.

"It's very unusual that both a winning National Lottery and Euromillions ticket would be sold so close together from the same shop. It definitely gives Thurles the name of luckiest town," added the spokesperson. 

Within the last eight months six major jackpots have been won in Tipperary starting with a mammoth €7.5 million Lotto ticket sold by Eason Thurles in October 2017. In March this year a scratch card paying out €500,000 was sold at Sheedy's Centra Store while less than a month later a syndicate collected a cheque for €250,000 after winning the Lotto Plus 2 top prize on a ticket sold at the Centra Store in Stadavoher, Thurles.

In December 2017 there were also two separate scratch card wins of €250,000 and €100,000 bought in shops in Thurles alongside McKevitts Costcutters on Friar Street, Thurles which sold a €500,000 Lotto Plus 1 winning ticket in the same month.

National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin congratulated the Stakelum’s Syndicate on its life-changing win and Eason Thurles for selling two jackpot winning tickets in such quick succession.

“This is terrific news we are thrilled for the syndicate members, and for Thurles which has become a very lucky National Lottery town. It is always nice to see a mega jackpot like this shared amongst several people. We look forward to welcoming the happy group in the National Lottery Winner’s Room next week,” he said.