Europe

€175m Irish EuroMillions winners 'feared house fire'

Staff at Reilly's Daybreak in Naul, where the winning ticket was sold, celebrate the family's big win Image copyright PA
Image caption Staff at Reilly's Daybreak in Naul, County Dublin, where the winning ticket was sold, celebrated the family's big win

A member of the Irish family syndicate that won a €175m (£150m) Euromillions jackpot has spoken about the big win.

Gerry Browne, husband of one of the the winners, told RTÉ radio he thought he would have to call an ambulance for his wife after she had checked the numbers.

He said the past week had been hectic and "hard to believe it really".

"When we saw jackpot was €175m, we asked ourselves 'Is it real?' and 'What if the house goes on fire and burns the ticket?'" Mr Browne said.

Having informed her fellow syndicate members of their massive good luck, Mr Browne's wife "put the ticket in an Argos catalogue on the table until the next morning".

The nine-person syndicate collected the prize from National Lottery offices in Dublin on Wednesday.

Image copyright Getty Images

Asked if he got any sleep on the first night, Mr Browne said he had "about six vodkas so I slept pretty alright".

A keen club cyclist, he intends to spend "€14,000 or €15,000" on a new bike.

The Brownes do not intend to move out of their home town of Naul in north County Dublin.

The win is the biggest ever EuroMillions win Ireland.

The previous biggest Irish winner was Dolores McNamara from Limerick, who won €115m (£100m) in 2005.

In January, a couple from Northern Ireland won a EuroMillions £115m jackpot.

Frances and Patrick Connolly, who live in Moira, County Down, matched the winning numbers in the New Year's Day draw.

It was the fourth biggest UK EuroMillions win and the biggest in Northern Ireland.

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