Donegal town buzzing as mystery millionaire scoops Lotto jackpot

Mickey Joe's Country Store in Carrigart.
Mickey Joe's Country Store in Carrigart.

The owner of the Donegal store where a €6m euro ticket was sold said there was great excitement among locals and holidaymakers in the area.

Mickey Joe Gallagher was speaking after a mystery customer became an overnight millionaire after purchasing an Irish Lotto ticket in the store for Saturday night’s draw.

The ticket was purchased at Mickey Joe’s Country Store in Umlagh, Carrigart.

Both Carrigart and nearby Downings are popular tourist areas with many holiday makers from Northern Ireland and the Republic having holiday homes and caravans in the area, or staying at local hotels and B & Bs.

Mr Gallagher said: “There would have been a lot of visitors around at the weekend and we don’t know at the minute whether it was a local person or a visitor.

“There’s lots of people with second homes in the locality and several hotels here in Carrigart and in Downings as well.

“There’s great anticipation around who won it. The rumour machine is in overdrive,” Mickey Joe added.

This is not the first time millionaires have been made in the picturesque north Donegal town, which has a population of just under 1,000 people.

Last year the Centra shop in the town sold a Lotto ticket worth €2m.

And Mickey Joe’s Country Store also recently celebrated further Lotto success when one of its customers appeared on the TV gameshow Winning Streak after buying a scratchard at the store.

Speaking about Carrigart seeming to have the Midas touch, Mr Gallagher said: “It’s the place to buy the tickets!”

The new Donegal millionaire is one of two to have hit the jackpot in Saturday’s draw with a second person sharing the over half of the €12,344,809 million prize. The other ticket was sold at Topaz Service Station, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Both were from Quick Pick play and it advised all its players to check their tickets to see if their numbers have come up.

The winning numbers are: 3, 7, 17, 21, 22 and 28. The Bonus number is 2.

Saturday’s Lotto draws produced over 115,000 prize winners, including four winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus. They get €23,842 each.

The mega Jackpot almost matched the biggest Lotto win so far this year of €12.85 million, won by a syndicate from Dublin on March 1st.

The money has rolled over every week since then, and the amount raised for Good Causes in the period is an estimated €15 million.

Approximately one third of all Irish National Lottery ticket sales go to the Good Causes Fund which benefits organisations and communities all over Ireland.

National Lottery Chief Executive, Dermot Griffin, said: “There will be some very happy players when they check their tickets and realise they have had a life-changing win. We are delighted that the Jackpot was shared.

“It is a huge amount of money that will make a difference to the winner’s lives. With so many winners from Saturday it is so important that everybody to check their tickets to see if they hold winning numbers.

“As always we remind players of their contribution to our Good Causes Fund, which benefits communities and organisations all over the country. From this Jackpot Roll alone an estimated €15 million will be given back.”