A deserved stroke of fortune for Irish lottery winner Patricia Daly Eisel

There is something wonderful about the Irish woman living in Long Island who won $21.5 million in the New York lottery at the weekend.

Patricia Daly Eisel could be a poster girl for hard working Irish emigrants everywhere who came to America and made a success of their lives.

The 40-year-old Offaly native is a single mother raising three kids who works two jobs – waitressing and baby sitting – in order to make ends meet.

She clearly had nothing handed to her since she arrived in America in 1995 and has had her fair share of challenges.

Try raising three kids on a waitress' salary and you will know all about it.

Still she never complained and was wildly popular in the restaurant in Long Beach, Long Island where she worked.

Back home in Ireland her next-door neighbour Imelda Lenehan said Trisha was a "bright, fun-loving girl who was always dedicated to her family."

Lenehan spoke with Trisha's 69-year-old mother. "She was calm as usual, Mags does not get excited. She'd just say God is good, isn't it great. I'd say she was in a state of shock."

In America she is beloved too. "She's a great worker, a great friend, a great partner," John O'Brien told the Irish Independent from the Saloon on Long Beach yesterday.

It was fate that she won. She was due to go home to Ireland but the massive snowstorm at Christmas meant she stayed in America.

While still here she bought the fateful ticket.

Her first thoughts when she won were to surprise her mother in Ireland and she flew back there on Thursday night.

No doubt she was walking on air when she stepped off the plane at Dublin Airport.

She deserved it and will have $8 million to spend when the lump sum minus taxes is hers.

And her kids will have a proper home not a house, as she told Lottery officials.

Some things are meant to be and it was a wonderful turn of events for this plucky Irishwoman.

I hope she enjoys her windfall.

I have a feeling we won't be reading about her as one of those who squanders all they made.

She seems far too smart for that.



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