Lottery Mystery Grips Tiny Irish Island

Jackpot winner hasn't come forward
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2017 3:21 AM CDT
Lottery Mystery Grips Tiny Irish Island
Bere Island has a population of around 180.   (Sally Meyer/Wikimedia)

Bere Island, a small island off the coast of Ireland's County Cork, only has around 180 residents—and one of them is believed to have a big secret. A ticket winning a $600,000 jackpot in the Euromillions lottery was sold on the island, and, much like in the plot of 1998 movie Waking Ned, the winner's identity is a mystery. Nobody has come forward to claim the prize and lottery officials have traveled to the island to try to find out who bought the ticket, which was sold on Monday, RTE reports. It was sold in a post office run by Mary Murphy, who says lottery ticket sales began on the island last year and nobody has won more than $25 before.

With the big win now the talk of the island, Murphy has ruled herself out as a winner—and if she does know who the jackpot winner is, she's keeping it quiet. "Even if I do, I can't say anything, I am not allowed," she tells the BBC. "It's up to the person themselves to come forward," she says. "I really don't know if they will or not, or if they want to remain anonymous." She says a couple of tickets were sold to people from off the island—but she is sure the winner is a local. (A North Carolina woman who bought a lottery ticket to show her husband he was wasting money ended up winning instead.)

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