'The boss gave us a half day off' - workers toast €500k Lotto win
They have been playing Lotto for three decades and now a work syndicate nicknamed "The Rat Pack" has finally scored a big win.
Dressed in emoji masks - smiling, laughing and cool - members of the group yesterday collected their €500,000 cheque from the National Lottery.
Named after the famous loose affiliation of singers that included Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr, the 12-man Lotto-winning Rat Pack sipped Champagne after scooping almost €42,000 each.
"Luckily our boss was in the syndicate so he gave us all a half day," said the syndicate leader.
The group won the Lotto Plus One top prize after buying their ticket at Tesco in Rathmines.
They have had the office syndicate running for almost 30 years, but "we have never won anything as big as this before", the designated spokesman added.
"We had a tough task on Thursday morning trying to convince the other lads that we had won the half-million euro prize.
"One member of the group in particular was on holidays and we rang him to tell him to get into the office to sign a winning Lotto ticket.
"He was convinced it was just an elaborate prank to get him back into work."
They also discussed what they will do their winnings.
"It's truly a fantastic amount to win and share together as a syndicate," said the leader of the group, who all wanted to remain anonymous.
"Everybody has discussed their own plans for the money, whether it is looking after family, house deposits, cars or holidays.
"We're going to put some money aside for all of our colleagues in work so that they can celebrate properly with us."
A spokesman said Lotto funds good causes across Ireland, with more than €210m raised in 2016 alone.
"This level of funding has made a significant difference to communities, projects and individuals in the areas of youth, sports, recreation, amenities, health, welfare, arts, culture, national heritage and the Irish language," a statement said.