Belfast Telegraph

Co Down demolition workers celebrate 'smashing' EuroMillions win

An 18-strong work syndicate from Newry are having a "smashing’" time after winning a quarter of a million pound EuroMillions win.

The staff, from demolition company Tinnelly Group Ltd won £253,489.30 after matching the five main numbers and one Lucky Star number in the EuroMillions draw on Friday 29 March

Each member of the syndicate is set to pocket more than £14,000.

The group believe fate may have played a part in their win,  at the start of every month, syndicate manager Michelle O’Hare from Warrenpoint usually buys the EuroMillions Lucky Dip lines for the syndicate for the entire month’s Friday night draws but this time there was a change to the routine.

Michelle was at a wedding on March 29 and so instead of buying from her local shop as always, she asked Gareth Tinnelly, a member of the family that owns the business and who is also in the syndicate, to purchase the tickets in her place – which he did at Mulkerns Eurospar on the Forkhill Road, close to company HQ.

The winning ticket lay on Gareth’s desk for a week before Michelle had a chance to check it when she called into her local store the following Friday.

“I asked the shop assistant to check my tickets as I normally do, but this time he gave a ticket back to me and said that I would need to call The National Lottery as this ticket was for a big amount," Michelle expained.

“Excitedly, I used my phone app to scan the ticket and I literally could not believe my eyes when the figure flashed up on my screen.  I really couldn’t believe it and asked a few friends and family to check that I wasn’t seeing things.

“Then when I was sure that it was correct, I called The National Lottery who happily confirmed that our ticket was indeed worth just over a quarter of a million pounds.  We also won a further £2.70 on the same draw!”

Michelle and her colleague Gareth came up with a plan to break the news to their fellow syndicate members.

The Tinnelly Group syndicate celebrate their £250k EuroMillions win.
The Tinnelly Group syndicate celebrate their £250k EuroMillions win.

“I wasn’t sure how to break the good news to the rest of the team so Gareth and I had a chat on Saturday and we came up with a plan to carry out on Monday morning at work," she said.

"It was very difficult to keep it a secret over the weekend and I couldn’t sleep a wink but, for the first time in forever, I was looking forward to getting up early to go to work on a Monday.

“We told everyone that we’d forgotten to buy the lottery tickets over the weekend but had done a bet in Saturday’s Grand National instead. Then we gave everyone an envelope and explained that the person whose envelope contained the name of the winning horse would win £500. In reality, I had placed a note in every envelope to say they had won £14,000."

“As everyone started opening their envelopes, they soon realised what had happened and it wasn’t long before everyone was jumping around, hugging each other, cheering and crying for joy.  It was a brilliant moment that I’m sure none of us will ever forget.

“Then the boss said that we could all go to the bar for the afternoon to celebrate. We really had a smashing time – although there were a few sore heads at work next morning!”

Seventeen of the 18-strong syndicate were available at the company’s headquarters on Friday morning to share news of their lucky win. They were: Michelle O’Hare (Warrenpoint), Gareth Tinnelly (Rostrevor), Dessie Tinnelly (Rostrevor), Sean Smyth (Keady), Arthur McGuinness (Newry), Aaron Mackey (Kilkeel), Martin Tinnelly (Warrenpoint), Damien Tinnelly (Newry), Roisin Franklin (Rostrevor), Joanne Campbell (Newry), Orlagh Trainor (Kilkeel), Jolene Morgan (Newry), Anne Rogers (Crossmaglen), Ciara McIlroy (Newry), Tanya Farrell (Crossmaglen), Alison McCann (Newry), and Briege McClorey (Newtowncloghoge).

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