The country’s newest multi-millionaire was celebrating in Athlone this week after scooping the first Lotto jackpot of the year.
Thirty-year-old Michelle Ryan, a native of Castlerea and resident of Fardrum, Athlone netted last Saturday’s jackpot of almost €7.5 million, after playing numbers chosen by her seven-year-old son Dylan.
She made the journey to Lotto headquarters in Dublin on Monday this week along with her partner Thomas Joyce, son Dylan, family members, and friends to collect her winnings of €7,457,357.
Speculation had been rife that Mr Joyce, a native of Ballymoe, had snared the jackpot after he was spotted hosting a free bar in Monaghan’s Bar in Baylough at the weekend. However, it was Michelle whose ticket proved lucky, with the six crucial numbers on one line and, incredibly, an additional five numbers on a separate line.
Miss Ryan said she had been playing the same numbers for the past few months after her son picked the numbers. The couple had spent €95.50 on last week’s draw.
Ms Ryan and Mr Joyce operate a wholesale business in Athlone, Dylan Thomas Imports, which imports goods from China and sells them to discount stores around the country.
The winning Lotto ticket was sold in the Kilmartin N6 service station just an hour before Saturday’s draw. The jackpot had been rolling for three weeks before being won by the Athlone woman.