By John Donohoe
The Centra store at the Corballis Shopping Centra in Ratoath had been on a literal winning streak over the past 10 days, with hundreds of thousands of lottery winnings emanating from the store in Euromillions and National Lottery wins since Monday of last week, when a €500,000 winning ticket was bought there.
At the weekend, Gerry Devins from Skryne, whose qualifying scratch-off ticket was bought in the store, appeared on Winning Streak, and took the €250,000 top prize when he spun the wheel.
On Tuesday of last week, €500,000, the top prize in Ireland's EuroMillions Plus game, went to a Ratoath family who bought a ticket in Corballis the day before the draw. The ticket was a €6 Quickpick number selection. The winners, who wish their win to remain private, live in Ratoath and both work fulltime outside the home. They have a young family, and went to Dublin to collect their cheque as soon as possible after the draw.
"We're delighted, over the moon, and can hardly believe our good luck, particularly so close to Christmas," they said through the National Lottery press office. "This win lifts a lot of long-term stress. The relief of it is enormous, It won't change our day-to-day lives but it will really change our lives in the long-term, as it provides so much security for our family," they said.
"We have no particular plans for spending or investing the money at the moment, and we'll take time over Christmas to think about everything," they added.
Saturday night's Winning Streak win for Gerry Devins was also a major blessing for his family, as it will provide funds to help look after his ten year-old daughter, Leah, who has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and is wheelchair bound.
The Leitrim native, who works in Tara Mines, had already won €28,200 on TV gameshow before spinning the wheel. His total take home prize money was €278,200 in one of the biggest payout shows since Winning Streak returned to TV screens after its summer break.
Gerry is married to Siobhan for fourteen years and they have three children - Aimee (12), Leah (10) and Niall (5). "I really can't believe this," said a delighted Gerry after he had spun the wheel. "I'm going to put some of this towards the mortgage and clearing the bills, and would love to change my car. But the main thing is that there will be extra funds now for Leah's care," he finished.
Leah was at the show and watched him land one of the gameshow's biggest prizes. Gerry's eldest daughter Aimee was nominated for an award with Rehab for the work she does in looking after Leah.
It was Siobhan who purchased the lucky Winning Streak Scratch Card and Gerry put his name on it. He didn't see the previous week's show but received lots of calls telling him that his name was drawn.