'It was honestly the most exciting moment we’ve ever had'

A Donegal woman who won €40,014 on the National Lottery Telly Bingo TV game show last October has revealed she rushed home following a dentist appointment after she learned that a local person had won the snowball prize.

Margaret Carr from Carrick in Co. Donegal is a life-long Telly Bingo player who regularly watches the Telly Bingo show on RTÉ every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday but ironically missed the all-important show when her €2.50 ticket netted her a snowball prize of €40,014!

“I completely missed the show! I was at the dentist and by the time I got home, word had spread throughout Carrick that the winning ticket was sold in the local filling station where I had bought my ticket. Obviously you hope you might have the winning ticket, but you can never be sure until you see the numbers come out with your own eyes!” she said.

The Carr family from Carrick in Co. Donegal celebrate after their mother, Margaret won the €40,014 TellyBingo prize on Tuesday 27th October. Pictured is Margaret Carr with her husband, Seamus and their children, Amy and Eric.

Margaret has been married to her husband Seamus for over 28 years and they have two children, Amy (22) who is a Garda in Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan and Eric (18).

The entire family excitedly gathered around their TV set as they watched Margaret’s number roll out of the TellyBingo drum to confirm her €40,014 win.

“I was at home with the family and they all wanted to scan the ticket on the National Lottery App to see if I won but I wasn’t having any of it! You don’t get the same buzz of TellyBingo by scanning your ticket on a phone. I turned on a recording of the show and we all watched rather nervously as my numbers come out one by one but at the end of the show, I still had two numbers remaining, 03 and 22.

“Despite the initial excitement, we were slowly coming to the realisation that maybe we weren’t the winners at all.

“My daughter, Amy had been looking over my shoulder the entire time and she lets out this roar that the two remaining numbers had already been called out and we’d definitely won it.

“It was honestly the most exciting moment we’ve ever had,” she said.

So far this year, an astonishing €13.6 million in prizes has been won by over 1.5 million players in the TellyBingo game, including 22 winners of the Snowball top prize.

Margaret Carr was the latest National Lottery high tier prize winner to claim her prize through an approved postal claims process which has been introduced by the National Lottery due to the on-going pandemic.

“I have the all-important National Lottery cheque in my hand. It’s nice for the postman to deliver such a nice parcel instead of the usual bills,” she laughed.

“I have plenty of plans for the money. We have a few renovations we need to do around the house and we definitely need to do up the garage. After that, we’ll put a few bob aside and we’ll enjoy a nice family holiday away next year when we are free from this COVID-19 business,” she said

Meanwhile, the National Lottery has confirmed that a Donegal family syndicate have finally come forward to claim a EuroMillions prize worth €119,361 – just over a week before the prize was due to expire on Thursday 26th November.

A delighted member of the family syndicate told the National Lottery of their relief of finding their winning ticket with just days before the prize claim deadline, “You cannot imagine the weight that has been lifted off our shoulders! For the past month, all of the newspapers have been full of stories about this unclaimed prize and we were completely panicking because we knew we bought a ticket in that store but we couldn’t lay our hands on it. We practically turned the house upside down looking for this ticket but we just couldn’t find it. Finally, over the weekend, I was clearing out my wardrobe and I came across an old jacket that I hardly ever wear anymore. I instinctively put my hands into the pockets of the jacket and there it is – a EuroMillions ticket worth nearly €120,000. It’s very difficult to describe the relief of finding it after all this time. We’ve finally stopped worrying and we’re now looking forward to making plans for our prize money.”