Top 7 Biggest Ever Lottery Wins In Ireland
Playing the lottery in Ireland with the best betting sites offers you plenty of opportunities to win big on a range of different games. The Irish Lotto is perhaps the most commonly played lottery in Ireland, but EuroMillions and a swathe of local lotteries are also available to players.
Over the years Irish lotteries have made thousands of people millionaires overnight. Indeed, some lucky players have even breached the €100m barrier since the EuroMillions began back in 2004.
The history of Irish lotteries goes back decades. In 1986 the National Lottery was launched in Republic of Ireland to raise billions of euros for national causes while also handing out millions in prizes each year.
Ireland’s National Lottery has three regular games to play: the Lotto, the Daily Million and the EuroMillions. And it’s fair to say the latter has caused the biggest headlines when Irish players have won that prize!
Biggest Lottery Wins in Ireland
Rather than looking at the biggest Irish wins with the online lottery operators, we’ve looked at the biggest lottery wins in Irish history – both north and south of the border. Here’s what we found…
7. €16.7m – Anonymous winner from Co Waterford – 2010
Few people would be able to resist not revealing their identity and holding a mega party on the day they won the lottery. In April 2010 a lucky punter from Dungarvan bought an Irish Lotto ticket and duly claimed more than €16m after the jackpot had rolled over for more than a month. The store owner of the shop the winning ticket was bought in claimed it “couldn’t have happened to a nicer person”.
6. €18.9m – Dan Morrissey quarry syndicate from Co Carlow – 2008
Two years prior to that anonymous win, the Irish Lottery jackpot record was shattered when a syndicate of 16 workers from the Dan Morrissey quarry in Bennekerry struck gold. Remarkably the jackpot had grown fast over its two months without a winner and there was a $2m leap in three days leading up to the syndicate’s victory. The winning ticket? A €32 Quick Pick that landed each member €1.1m.
5. €19m - Anonymous winner from Co Mayo - 2022
After an incredible 62 rollovers The National Lottery was finally won Saturday January 15, 2022. Such had been the wait since the previous winner back on June 9, 2021, that lotto bosses were forced to turn the draw into a ‘must-win’ scenario where if six numbers weren’t matched the jackpot would fall to the next winning combination (i.e five numbers plus the bonus and so on).
However, they needn’t have bothered as one lucky winner scooped the entire pot - the largest in the history of the National Lottery - with the winning ticket sold in Laura’s XL store in Castlebar, Co Mayo. The €19m prize - which had been capped the previous September - has yet to be claimed. However, the victor has made contact with Lotto headquarters.
4. €23.8m – EuroMillions bus drivers from Dublin – 2016
Another syndicate – this time in the EuroMillions – saw 22 bus drivers from Dublin secure an eye-watering win. They drove their buses down to the Lotto headquarters on Abbey Street to collect their winnings. The pot was shared between the drivers and many headed back to work. It is claimed they still play Lotto as a syndicate and also donated part of their winnings to charity.
3. €115m – Dolores McNamara from Limerick – 2005
A year after Ireland was welcomed into the EuroMillions community, the country struck gold. Mum-of-six Dolores McNamara purchased a €2 Quick Pick ticket and, according to a bartender at the local pub, she burst into tears upon realising she had won the jackpot. The interest of her winnings alone amounted to €3m a year and McNamara went on to invest in business ventures, as well as buying a €3.5m house.
2. €127m – Frances and Patrick Connolly from Co Armagh – 2019
When Frances and Patrick Connolly won the EuroMillions jackpot on New Year’s Day 2019, they set about deciding what to do with their windfall. The Belfast couple were set for life following their remarkable victory but weren’t prepared to keep all the money themselves. Instead, the Connollys have since donated roughly half of their fortune to charities and good causes.
They bought 1,000 presents for patients hospitalised on Christmas Day, set up the Kathleen Graham Trust in Northern Ireland, and provided hundreds of tablet computers to people isolated during the coronavirus lockdown.
Frances said: “Patrick joked for years that if we ever won the lottery, he’d take away my mobile phone and never let me use the computer again because I’d give away the lot. But I’ve taken real joy from helping other people out.”
1. €175m – Family syndicate from Co Dublin – 2019
If you thought the Connollys' windfall was big then just wait until you hear the Irish lottery record… a €175.4m EuroMillions jackpot struck by a family syndicate from The Naul in North Co Dublin, two months on from that win in Co Armagh.
The family, well known in the area for two generations, bought the winning ticket from a Daybreak shop. One family member, upon realising the size of the win, put the winning ticket in an Argos catalogue and under her mattress to keep it safe!
A family spokesperson said: “We are a very close family. We meet every week and we take holidays together every year. This is a dream come true for us. We don’t want this to change our lives. What is so exciting is that we will be able to share this money with children, grandchildren, and extended family members.”
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