Athea man celebrates €50,000 lottery win

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

A STEEL fitter from Athea has 50,000 reasons to be happy after winning big in the EuroMillions lottery.

A STEEL fitter from Athea has 50,000 reasons to be happy after winning big in the EuroMillions lottery.

Thomas O’Mahony, 37, matched five numbers in the draw on Friday March 23, and last week travelled to Dublin to collect his €50,000 winnings.

His success capped a bumper month for EuroMillions players in Limerick, after Garryowen mother-of-ten Susan Bailey won €900,000 and another as yet unnamed player picked up €500,000 from a ticket sold at Gleeson’s Spar on Catherine Street in the city.

Thomas, who bought his ticket at Collins’ shop on Colbert Street in Athea, told the Limerick Leader that it took quite a while for the shock to sink in after he learned that he had matched five numbers in the main draw.

“I wasn’t watching the draw when it happened, I checked the numbers at about 12 o’clock that night. I think I was holding the ticket in my hand for about an hour afterwards”.

Thomas lives on Main Street in Athea with Josh, his five-year-old son who attends Athea National School.

He said that he hasn’t given too thought to how he’s planning to spend his winnings, other than “paying off a bit of the mortgage” and treating his son to a holiday to Disneyland in Paris.

However, he is likely to have plenty of people to share his new found happiness with – Thomas comes from a family of eight children.

Paul Collins, who runs the shop where Thomas’ ticket was sold, said that the store is already starting to be considered lucky.

“It was great to find out. They rang us the Friday night of the draw to tell us. There’s been a good buzz in here since. We only got the agency about a year ago, and we’ve had a couple of small wins – one ticket won €4,500, another won €5,000. But this was our first big one.

“We’ve already had a few people coming in since, because they reckon we might be lucky”.

Limerick has steadily earned a reputation as a hot bed of EuroMillions success since August 2005, when city woman Dolores McNamara famously picked up what was then the single biggest prize in European lotto history when she won a staggering €115 million.

Earlier this month, Susan Bailey from Garryowen won €900,000 in the EuroMillions draw.