Suzanne McManus (R) celebrates her win with friends Karen Swinbourne, Norman Maxwell and Sandra Jenkins. Picture: John Mokrzycki / The West Australian.

Suzanne McManus certainly had the luck of the Irish with her yesterday when her $12 bet won her $484,703 in the Melbourne Cup.

Mrs McManus, mother of former Fremantle Dockers footballer turned radio host Shaun McManus, bet $12, which gave her a 50 per cent flexi dividend in the First 4.

A tribute to her family's Irish heritage, Mrs McManus picked out four Irish-bred horses - Green Moon, Fiorente, Jakkalberry and Kelinni.

They finished first, second, third and fourth respectively.

Mrs McManus, who was enjoying a special Melbourne Cup lunch with her friends at Mt Henry Tavern yesterday, said she was gobsmacked by the win.

"Once I knew I had the first four, I went over to the TAB people to check how much I'd won," she said.

"The girl looked down at the screen and all I heard was, 'Four-hundred' - I thought I'd won $400 and was thrilled. Then she said she couldn't pay me out because they didn't have enough money - she said I had won $400,000. That's when the screaming started."

The mother of five and grandmother of 11 admitted she only really bet once a year for Melbourne Cup day and needed help filling out the slip.

Mt Henry Tavern barman Ryan O'Connor, also of Irish heritage, helped Mrs McManus lodge her bet.

"I think she was probably the most clueless person I helped out today," he laughed.

"She really didn't know what she was doing but it all worked out for her. It was just her day."

Mrs McManus, who lives in Banjup with her husband Henry, said she had not yet decided how she would spend her winnings. "I rang my husband, who's overseas at the moment, to tell him I won and he didn't believe me," she said.

"I don't really believe it myself really, it's so overwhelming.

"I'm still waiting for it to sink in."

A $24 bet in the First 4 would have paid $969,406.60.

The West Australian

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