‘Are you the winner?’ was the question on everyone’s lips in Kilmore Quay on Monday as rumours flew around that the €66 million Euromillions ticket was bought there last week.
One Irish resident hit the jackpot last Friday when they scooped the huge prize and since the news broke, Kilmore Quay has been in the spotlight. As national media speculated on whether the seaside village was home to the lucky winner, excitement spread like wildfire through every local shop and pub.
John Brady, owner of the new Mace store in the village, had to shoot down claims that he sold the golden ticket. According to him, his phone hasn’t stopped ringing all weekend.
‘Ever since Friday, it has been crazy here,’ said John, who said he didn’t know where the winner was from. ‘Everyone’s talking about it. It would be nice if someone did win it here, especially if they really needed the money. Either way, it’s good to have some excitement in the town.’
One of the other local outlets rumoured to have sold the ticket was PJ Murphy’s shop. Owner PJ Murphy did not wish to comment on the speculation.
Although she does the lotto and Euromillions every week with her work colleagues, Helen O’Connor said that she wasn’t the lucky winner this time around.
‘We were in Kilkenny when the news broke and our friends there were asking us if we were the winners,’ she laughed. ‘I have a funny feeling that it was sold here. I would love it to be someone local.’
As head chef in Mary Barry’s, Nicky Cullen has been hearing a wide variety of rumours since the Euromillions numbers were announced. From his point of view, there is ‘no truth’ in the rumour that the ticket was sold in Kilmore.
‘It’s just Chinese whispers!’ he said. ‘People are getting excited about it but I really don’t think it was sold here.’
According to Nicky and other members of staff in the popular pub, the excitement may have been sparked by a Facebook post which showed a group of local women wining and dining with the caption ‘spending our lotto winnings’. The photo sent the rumour mill into overdrive until word got out that they had won €250 in a syndicate.
John Hayes also dismissed claims that Ireland’s newest millionaire bought their ticket nearby, saying that ‘there are rumours here all the time’.
‘I haven’t a clue if it was won here but everyone’s chatting about it,’ he said, adding that he never takes part.
‘But I must do the lotto this week!’
(First published in the Wexford People: print edition. Also available online at: http://www.wexfordpeople.ie/news/euromillions-fever-comes-to-kilmore-34417302.html)