A husband and wife from West Cork almost let a €1 million Lotto fortune slip through their fingers by putting the winning ticket into a paper recycling pile.
The new millionaires accidentally scooped up the winning ticket during a hasty tidy of their kitchen when unexpected visitors called, and left it with a pile of other paper in a basin in the porch.
It was only yesterday, almost a month later, when the couple went hunting for a copy of a phone bill they had to pay did they see the lotto ticket - and check the numbers. They then realised they won the Lotto Plus 1 top prize of €1 million from the draw on Saturday, November 17.
The winning ticket was sold at the Spar/Applegreen store on the Cork road in Skibbereen.
The Cork couple, who wish to remain anonymous, were aware the ticket was sold locally but they were completely oblivious to the fact that it was in their recycling basin.
The winning wife said today: “A few days after the draw, we heard the doorbell going so I frantically shouted at my husband to clear up the kitchen and make it presentable for visitors. Anything he could get his hands on he scooped it into a basin and hid it out of sight in the porch. Among that pile was the winning Lotto ticket – we’re absolutely blessed that we didn’t lose it,” she said.
“Just yesterday, I received a notification to pay my phone bill so it was only then I remembered that the bill was in the basin in the porch along with all of the other rubbish which was all destined for the recycling bin. When I was sifting through all of the bits of paper, I came across this Lotto ticket and I put it aside for checking.” she added.
“I was with my husband in the kitchen when I scanned the ticket on my phone and a message popped up to say that we had to call the National Lottery to claim a prize. We were convinced that we had won a Christmas hamper and were genuinely over the moon to get something like that in time for Christmas."
"As soon as I paid my phone bill, I gave the National Lottery a call and I was left absolutely shaking when I was told that we were the €1 million winners all along. I started screaming and shouting at my husband who hadn’t a clue what was going on! We still haven’t really come to terms with it so we’ll put it away into the bank and decide what to do with the money over Christmas,” she added.