'Tourist and local bachelor' believed to have scooped lotto jackpot
The two winners of the €12.3m Lotto jackpot in Athlone and a tiny Gaeltacht village in Donegal, are rumoured to be holidaymakers and a middle-aged bachelor.
One ticket worth €6,172,404 was sold in Mickey Joe's Country Store in Umlagh, Carrigart, Co Donegal - a small Irish-speaking village - and a popular holiday spot.
The other golden ticket for the same amount, was sold in the Topaz service station on Dublin Road, Athlone.
"The rumour has been going round like wildfire that the winner is a guy in his late 50s," a local man in Athlone said.
"He's in the bar having a pint now and the lads are all poking him but he's having none of it and denying it.
"He lives near the shop and he's always getting lottery tickets. He's also got a big smile on his face today but he just isn't giving anything away.
"He's a lovely fella, so I do hope it is him but we won't know until he buys everyone a round, so hopefully he'll do that soon. He isn't married and doesn't have kids but he's a well-known and well-liked character round here so it would be good news if it is him."
Athlone Mayor John Dolan said the lottery win was "fantastic" for the town and he congratulated the winner but said he did not know who had won.
"I know it wasn't me - but I'm genuinely delighted for whoever won it."
Other locals believe that it is possible the winner could have been passing through the town.
Donegal Councillor John O'Donnell lives beside Carrigart, where the second winning ticket was sold.
"This is a busy seaside town," Cllr O'Donnell said. "There are a lot of people travelling in and out of the village, so it could be holidaymakers or people from the North who have houses and mobile homes down here."
National Lottery chief executive, Dermot Griffin said: "We are looking forward to meeting the jackpot winners in the next few days."
The winning numbers of the jackpot were 3, 7, 17, 21, 22, 28 and the bonus was 2.