Peter Foster, principal, Dernakesh National School, cuts the tape to officially open the new extension to Little Ray's Afterschool in Gallonray House last November, pictured with Karen Callaghan (Child Care Committee) and the children from Little Rays.

Community syndicate wins over €250,000 on Euromillions

A syndicate in the Drumgoon area has made history by becoming the largest known syndicate in Irish history to claim a top Lotto Prize.
The Littleray's Lotto Euromillions Syndicate struck lucky in Tuesday's night's draw to claim €256,142. With 295 members in the syndicate, that breaks down to €868.29 each!
This fairytale story is all the more remarkable given that the syndicate was a fundraiser for the community childcare facility in Gallonray House. The members are largely parents of children who use the childcare facility, pre-school and after-school clubs.

Chairman of the Drumgoon Community Centre Co-op Aidan McCabe explained more.
“It's just wonderful,” he said to the Celt today.
“It was a fundraiser for our after-school extension to provide an extra room as the numbers using our facility have doubled in recent years. Families paid €100 towards the project and, in recognition for their support, we bought 100 lines in the Euromillions draw for 10 weeks,” explained Aidan.
At that rate, families had 2,000 chance of hitting the jackpot and Aidan's hopeful that “lightning may strike twice” as they still have  tickets up until the February 13 draw.
“It's a mighty boost in a farming community,” said Aidan.
“We are delighted. There are the people who support several projects in Gallonray over the past 40 years and it's great to see them get a bit of a reward,” he said.
All members of the syndicate have a certificate of their membership; and the numbers being played in each of the draws, so all of the paper work is “transparent” and organised.
Aidan himself is a member of the syndicate but has not yet decided how to spend his windfall. He jokes that one man called him to say: “Don't tell the wife!”
The syndicate has informed National Lottery HQ and are making plans to collect their cheque, perhaps next week.
The Celt understands that this is the record largest syndicate to win a top Lotto prize – the previous record was held by Confey GAA Club in Co Kildare with 291 members. This won a €200K prize in 2004.
There will be a big celebration this weekend as Littleray's prepares to host its annual Big Breakfast fundraiser in Gallonray House this Sunday from 9:30pm to 12:30pm and, given the circumstances, Aidan hasn't ruled out a little champagne or prosecco to go along with the usual teas and coffees. And shir why not!