Inishowen’s lucky 13 share lotto windfall

The staff of Cullen's Shop, Cockhill celebrate selling the winning Lotto ticket. Pictured are:  Cormac Cullen, Phyllis Carter, Catherine Bradley and Cathal Cullen.

The staff of Cullen's Shop, Cockhill celebrate selling the winning Lotto ticket. Pictured are: Cormac Cullen, Phyllis Carter, Catherine Bradley and Cathal Cullen.

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One of Inishowen’s lucky lotto winners was yesterday flying home from holiday in Tenerife to claim her 375,000 euro share of a Lotto windfall.

Claire McElhinney is one of 13 lucky syndicate members working in Forward Emphasis International in Malin Head, who won an amazing €4,871,046 in Wednesday night’s Irish Lottery.

The other 12 winners are Amanda McFadden, Marie McLaughlin, Maria Doherty, Annemarie Jordan, Patricia Quigley, Helen Doherty, Anna McKinney, Linda McKinley, Maria McCauley, Liam Bradley, Jimmy Bradley and Kelly McMonagle.

11 of the syndicate are from various areas in Inishowen while Liam and Anna are from Derry.

They each receive a whopping 375,000 euro each.

Speaking to the Derry Journal yesterday, Amanda, from Cockhill, said the win had yet to sink in and revealed she thought it was a “joke” when she first heard.

She said: “I got a text and the phonecalls started.

“One of the girls sent a picture of the ticket and I thought: “That can’t be real.”

“I still can’t believe it.

“It was a huge shock.

“We’re all just over the moon.”

The lotto winning group met for breakfast in Carndonagh yesterday morning to take in the news and then went back to work in Malin Head.

“It was a bit early for champagne,” quipped Amanda.

The group were awaiting the return of Claire before going to Dublin to collect their winnings.

She wasn’t due home for over a week, but flew back when she heard of her win.

It is understood Maria Doherty has only been working in the company for three days.

Amanda said everyone’s phones had been “ringing off the hook” since their news emerged.

“It was a huge shock, but an absolutely brilliant one,” she said.

Amanda quipped that she and her husband had already “worked out” how their going to spend their winnings and added that their colleagues at Forward Emphasis are “delighted” and “supportive.”

The winning ticket for Wednesday’s lotto ticket was bought by Jimmy, who plays for Cockhill Celtic, in Cullen’s, Cockhill.