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A retired priest from Florida, USA, has won a big lottery prize while on holiday in Ireland. The lucky player won €500,000 in the EuroMillions Plus draw held on December 22.

The priest has asked to remain anonymous, just like the recent $25m Australian Powerball winner from Victoria in Australia. The EuroMillions Plus winner was born in Co. Mayo and purchased his winning ticket from the Donnybrook Fair Shop in Malahide, North Dublin. It’s the latest big win in the area after a syndicate from Co. Mayo won a €29m EuroMillions jackpot earlier this year.

He admits to not getting too excited when hearing that a local store had sold a €500,000 winning EuroMillions ticket. He returned to the store to get his ticket checked and was served by the same woman who sold him his EuroMillions ticket, Tatiana Rusu who originally comes from Moldova. His EuroMillions win was confirmed when his ticket came up with a message instructing him to contact the National Lottery due to the size of his win. Diana De Gilio from New Zealand won £1m playing EuroMillions, while on holiday in England.

Some players have a lot of lottery luck and this isn’t his first big win. In the past, he has scooped £15,000 playing the old Irish sweepstakes and in the USA, has had wins of $3,000 and $5,000. He joked to lottery officials that God must be listening to his prayers. A player in Australia has had six big lottery wins including being part of a $658,000 winning Australian Lotto syndicate this year.

The EuroMillions winner has pledged to share his windfall with those in need just like Canadian $40m Lotto Max winner Tom Crist. The retired cleric says that’s what he was taught by two very important people in his life. He told lottery officials, “I have always had a policy of sharing my luck around. That is something that my late mother taught me, and something that was also drummed into me when I was a young priest by a Bishop I am a big believer that what goes around comes around. This is a huge amount of money and I look forward to giving some back.”

The EuroMillions winner said that he regularly pays visits back to his native Ireland and had spent a lovely Christmas with his relatives in Dublin. He added that his family are delighted with his news.

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