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'We took the bus to claim our €175m jackpot win', says family

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Lotto’s Dermot Griffin with the cheque.

Lotto’s Dermot Griffin with the cheque.

Lotto’s Dermot Griffin with the cheque.

Ireland's €175m EuroMillions winners went by bus to take their ticket to lottery headquarters after the family syndicate struck gold last month.

Gerry Brown, whose wife is a member of the winning group, said they have had a "hectic" time meeting financial advisers as they decide what to do with the largest jackpot in Ireland's history.

The family, from Co Dublin, were presented with their winning cheque on Thursday.

The ticket was sold at Reilly's Daybreak newsagents in The Naul, Co Dublin.

Ambulance

Mr Brown recalled the shock his wife felt when she realised they had won.

He told RTE's Today with Sean O'Rourke: "She could hardly talk. I was nearly going to get an ambulance for her."

His wife placed the ticket in an Argos catalogue for safekeeping overnight before they took the bus next day to Ireland's National Lottery headquarters.

There was huge media focus on their village and Mr Brown said waiting journalists were oblivious as they rode past.

He praised residents in The Naul for keeping quiet about who the family were and where they lived.

The family, all retired, were keen to get back to normality after the win, he added.

"I would be hoping to get back to it [normal life]. I'd rather just go back the way I was - happy enough before I won, so I don't want it to change too much."

The family celebrated with a low-key carvery dinner in the hotel where they were meeting the bank, which he said cost less than €12 a head.

Mr Brown, a keen cyclist, said he hoped to buy a bike - possibly one worth around €15,000.

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‘Lucky Les’, owner of the shop that sold ticket.

‘Lucky Les’, owner of the shop that sold ticket.

Colin Keegan

‘Lucky Les’, owner of the shop that sold ticket.

"I'll probably buy one of the best you can buy. I'm mad into cycling so that's the only thing I'd be thinking of."

Mr Brown said it was still early days for the family to decide on what to do with the rest of the money.

"I suppose a lot of them will get new cars or whatever.

"We haven't really thought of it because we'll have to give it a while to sink in. It's hard to even think you won, you'd hardly believe it."

He said they had charities they wanted to help and would focus on looking after their families.

"I would rather just stay the way I am, I suppose. If I won it 30 years ago, it might be different," he said.

"At our age it's not as big a deal. The best thing about the whole lot is what you can do for other people - that's the nicest thing about it."

Asked what they might do with the fortune, he said: "Look after your kids and grandkids and brothers and sisters and all that."

After claiming the win, Mr Brown, in a statement released through the Irish National Lottery, said: "This is life changing for the family and we are absolutely thrilled.

Positive

"We have spent the last week getting independent legal and financial advice and our win is slowly sinking in.

"We are a very close family and this is a dream come true for us. We want this win to change our lives in a positive way."

National Lottery chief executive Dermot Griffin said: "I am absolutely thrilled for the family and it was a pleasure meeting them in National Lottery HQ and to share their excitement and joy.

"Happy days like this is part of what playing National Lottery games is all about.

"This has been a historic few weeks for us, with our biggest-ever jackpot payout."


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