The store where Margaret Loughrey bought her £27m EuroMillions ticket was said to be buzzing after her win.
Colm Gallagher, manager at the SuperValu on Strabane’s Main Street, said it was not the first time the store had seen a large-scale jackpot – although the sheer sum involved dwarfed all their previous records.
As reported, Margaret, an unemployed 48-year-old from the town, won £26,863,588.20 in the draw last Tuesday – news of which has been gradually filtering throughout the area.
“It broke last Wednesday that there may be a winner in town,” said Mr Gallagher.
“Thursday was kind of speculating about who it was. By Friday it appeared it had been sold in another store rather than here, but it just broke on Sunday when she gave a local press interview.
“It’s great for Margaret and her extended family, and we’re delighted to be part of the story. It’s a great buzz for staff here.”
Asked if she had returned to the store since, he said he expects it to be “a wee bit yet” before she pops back in.
“She has a lot to think about,” he said. “I’m sure her best wishes are with us.”
Jackpots of five or even six figures are not unheard of, said the Castlefin man, who added: “We’ve had a customer get £100,000 here. That was a good few years ago, on a scratch card... We’ve had a few fairly decent ones as far as that’s concerned – but this is a huge one altogether.”
Asked if the shop appears to be luckier than others, hesaid: “How lucky is lucky? We have our fair share of lotto players – because of that we get our fair share of winners as well. I’m just delighted she bought the ticket here. I’m over the moon for her and her family.”
Strabane District Council may well end up hosting some kind of civic ceremony for Margaret and her family.
“A chairman’s reception would be usually what it involves,” said chairman Ruairi McHugh of Sinn Fein.
“The person or persons being honoured arrive at the council where they’re met by the chairman and councillors and presented with a large piece of crystal.
“It will be, I would imagine, discussed at the meeting on Tuesday night.”
Speaking on Radio Foyle yesterday, local newspaper reporter Conor Sharkey – who interviewed Margaret about her win – said the day before scooping the £27m she had been out buying a 99p pair of curtains in Barnardo’s. He said some of the first changes in her life were “the fact she could put her oil heating on and leave it on; the fact she can put £20 top-up on her phone instead of a tenner”.
Though her jackpot on the bi-weekly EuroMillions draw (spanning nine countries) is huge, it does not come close to the biggest ever UK win of £161m by a lucky Scottish couple in 2011.