The largest online lotto jackpot in Ireland’s history has been paid out to five friends from Leinster.
Back on February 21, the five-member syndicate found themselves sitting down for a round of pints at Connolly’s Pub, located in the Donadea parish of County Kildare. As the head of the syndicate later recounted to the local Leinster Leader, the lotto enthusiasts usually take turns purchasing their Wednesday and Saturday Lotto draw tickets at brick and mortar shops.
But on this day, the group decided to use the National Lottery online app to get in the game – and they’re definitely glad they did.
When the hopper stopped turning and delivered numbers 9, 26, 27, 29, 31, and 47 – with a bonus number of 30 – the syndicate’s online ticket matched up perfectly. The five pals – who have elected to remain anonymous at this time – combined to claim the entire €7,179,959 jackpot, which comes to €1,435,991 if they split the prize evenly.
According to a press release issued by the Irish National Lottery, this marked the fifth time that an online ticket has triggered a Lotto jackpot – and the largest to date since online ticket sales began in 2009. The previous record occurred in 2010, when a Dublin-based syndicate scored for €5.5 million.
One member of the record-setting quintet later told lotto officials how it felt to be the first among his peers to learn about the life-changing news:
“I heard on the news while I was driving that the Lotto was won by an online player.
My heart skipped a beat and I pulled over and checked the numbers against ours, and they were matching! I sat in the car for a few minutes unable to process what was happening.
Eventually I just rang the other members and started spreading the word.”
The syndicate’s organizer also spoke to the Irish National Lottery to describe the thrilling moment when his phone started ringing off the hook:
“It’s a surreal feeling but it is absolutely fantastic to share this experience with my friends. Even though we aren’t going to tell anyone else about our stroke of luck, this is something we will have forever with each other.
It was funny, I checked my phone this morning and saw 32 missed calls from the other members of the syndicate.
The last thing I expected was the news that we had won the Lottery – I was expecting bad news to be honest.”
The Lotto utilizes a minimum of two lines per ticket, with a total cost for two lines coming to €4. As a standard 6/47 lotto draw – in which players must choose six numbers from a set of 1-47 and match all six – the odds of winning the jackpot stand at 1 in 10.7 million.
February 21 proved to be the perfect day to play the lotto in Ireland, as the Daily Million draw also produced a €1 million jackpot winner in Dublin.
Lotto officials pointed out the double-whammy when speaking to Dublin Live:
“There is great excitement in Lotto HQ today as we celebrate two massive wins in the one day – a €7.1m Lotto Jackpot winner and a Daily Millions winner.”
Online lotto tickets for the Irish National Lottery can be purchased through the eponymously named app, or by visiting www.lottery.ie.