Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Thursday, August 21, 2014



Great news from Belfast! Local lass Margaret Loughrey won a whopping $48 million in the EuroMillions Lottery! Never heard of the EuroMillions? Well, it's a lot like the MegaMillions Lotto in the USA. Instead of numerous states 'teaming up' to make for bigger jackpots, numerous nations 'team up' across the European continent for enormous payouts. And this month's payout was one of the largest EVER!

You're asking yourself: Don't people win big lotteries everyday? Why is the DUNER BLOG interested in something so mundane? Well, Margaret is doing something no other lottery winner has done before. She's giving all but 3% of it away. Crazy, but true. Here are the figures: Ms Loughrey won €34 million and she's giving €33 million away. She figures a million Euros is more than enough for her. She's 48 years old and that's plenty of dough.

You're asking yourself: Is Margaret already wealthy? Surely she must have a large nest egg already! Nope. In fact, Ms Loughrey bought the lucky ticket while walking home from the Unemployment Office. Her benefits are only €70 a week, but she always bought one ticket a week just for luck. (This is Ireland, you know!) "I know what it is like to have nothing," Margaret quipped "I can't miss what I never had." She hints she might retire to the Costa Brava in Spain, but for the time being, she's staying put in Northern Ireland.

You're asking yourself: Who gets all of Margaret's millions? Her 75 year-old mum got a nice cut. Lots of her friends on unemployment also got wads of cash. But don't worry! The vast majority of her winnings are going to her beloved hometown of Strabane. She wants to invest in her community. For example, she spent €1.25 million to buy the historic Herdman's Mill. She's converting it to a craft village where local residents can work. "There is so much talent in Strabane," she explained. "People just need to be given a chance to work, to support families, to run a business, to buy a home.."

It's true: You can learn a lot from Mags. (That's her nickname.) She insists on sharing. "No point in having $48 million and being lonely. That can't make me happy. What can only make me happy is that everyone else is happy." She also feels Northern Island is the most beautiful place on earth and that tourists should come here.  She wants to invest in other famous sites and get folks to come to forgotten province. She's right! The Giant's Causeway (pictured) is a World Heritage Site and should be on everyone's bucket list. So pack your bags and head to land of luck!

PS. Her lucky numbers were 19, 23, 27, 42 & 44.

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