Irish Lottery Review

Very popular in Europe, the Irish Lottery from the Emerald Isle, The Irish National lottery.

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Irish National Lottery

The Irish Lottery was created by the National Lottery Act in 1986 and is run by the "An Post National Lottery Company" which is a subsidiary of the company that provides Ireland’s postal service, An Post.

The An Post National Lottery Company has the license to run the Irish National Lottery on behalf of the Irish Minister for Finance who oversees the whole national lottery operation and is responsible for issuing the license to administer it.

The Irish Lottery began selling its first lottery tickets on March 23rd 1987 when it launched its first scratch cards.

Since it began back in 1987, the Irish National Lottery has raised more than €3 billion for the good causes that it supports.

The Irish Lotto is so popular within Ireland that it is reported that two thirds of the country population regularly play Irish National Lottery games.

Irish National Lottery

There are up to 11 different games in the Irish National Lottery portfolio, including Monday Million, EuroMillions, Millionaire Raffle, Telly Bingo, Scratch Cards plus the Lotto family of games, Lotto Plus 1, Lotto Plus 2, Lotto 5-4-3-2-1. The primary game itself is the Irish Lotto, which we will be looking at here.

Irish Lottery

Irish Lotto Overview

The Irish Lotto is the main offering from the Irish National Lottery and is a traditional draw-based jackpot style game that has undergone various changes since it began.

The Irish Lottery flagship game commenced back in 1988 with the very first draw taking place on April 16th and has remained a firm favourite amongst Irish lottery players ever since.

Jackpots for the Irish Lottery - Irish Lotto - begin at a guaranteed €2 million and roll over each time the top prize is not won. These rollovers can occur up to an incredible 11 times making for some rather large jackpot figures.

The Irish Lottery is drawn twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8pm GMT.

You can check the Irish Lottery results in various ways – online at this website, in the newspapers, or during the live Lotto drawings which are televised by Radio Telefis Eireann, the public service broadcaster for Ireland.

How It Works

The Irish Lotto – uses what’s known as a 6/45 matrix - which means that when playing the Lotto, you need to select 6 numbers out of a pool of numbers from 1 to 45 – if you match all 6 numbers drawn then you will be a jackpot winner.

In addition to the jackpot itself, there are 6 other ways in which you can win on the Irish Lotto, match 5 main numbers plus the bonus number, 5 main numbers, 4 main numbers plus the bonus number, 4 main numbers, 3 main numbers plus the bonus number or even just 3 of the main numbers.

A Quick Pick facility is available when playing the Irish Lotto - very much the same as the Lucky Dip option that is used in the UK National Lottery, Europe’s EuroMillions or many of the USA lottery games. This means that you can ask the lottery retailer or computer to randomly select all your Irish Lottery numbers for you.

The minimum number of lines (or panels) you can have has always been 2 per draw in the Irish Lotto with each line costing €1.50 per line.

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Who Can Play

Irish Lotto Ticket

Like many other world wide lotteries, previously only citizens living in the country or state where the lottery actually takes place were allowed to play in any of the lottery games of that country. Ireland was no exception. You used to have to purchase your Irish Lottery tickets from an authorised retailer based in Ireland itself.

Today, however, with reputable online lottery ticket sales Companies and Agents such as TheLotter who are both authorised and genuine, you are able to select your Irish Lottery numbers online and purchase your tickets no matter where in the world you may be living.

This is good news of course if you live outside of the Republic of Ireland but want to play the Lotto and ensure your entry into the next drawing or just want to have the convenience and ease of being able to buy lottery tickets online for the Irish Lotto.

Once you have entered into the draw, you can then easily check the Irish Lottery results online to see how you have done and to find out if you have become one of the lucky winners.

You will need to be 18 years of age to be eligible to purchase a ticket or claim a prize for any of the Irish National Lottery games including the Irish Lotto.

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Information and Background

View of Lower Abbey Street Dublin

The Irish Lottery game has undergone various changes since its inception in 1988 and has also produced a couple of spin off games such as Lotto 5-4-3-2-1 which was launched in 1997 and Lotto Plus which stated in the year 2000.

The Irish Lotto began with a matrix of 6/36 with six lottery balls being drawn from a lottery machine that contained 36 numbered balls. Jackpots in those early days began at £250,000 and draws took place once a week on Saturdays.

In May 1990, the Irish National Lottery introduced a second draw to the Lotto which takes place on
Wednesday evenings bringing the weekly drawings to twice per week.

Top Ten Jackpot Draws Today
Lotto Ball U.S. - Mega Millions
US$ 214 Million
The following lotteries offer the next highest lottery jackpots in the world and are sorted for your convenience by their jackpot size.
Lotto Ball U.S. - Powerball
US$ 154 Million
Lotto Ball France - EuroMillions + My Million Raffle
€ 37 Million
Lotto Ball Europe - EuroMillions
€ 37 Million
Lotto Ball U.K. - EuroMillions + UK Millionaire Maker
£ 26 Million
Lotto Ball Australia - Powerball Lotto
AUD 50 Million
Lotto Ball California - SuperLotto Plus
US$ 38 Million
Lotto Ball Spain - La Primitiva
€ 31 Million
Lotto Ball Australia - Oz Lotto
AUD 30 Million
Lotto Ball New York - Lotto
US$ 20.7 Million

In August 1992, the National Lottery changed the Lotto’s matrix to 6/39 and added a bonus number. The aim here being to increase the jackpot odds and double the starting jackpot figure to €500,000.

September 1994 saw another change to the Lotto, the matrix this time becoming 6/42 with the aim of creating larger rollover jackpot sums. This matrix configuration remained in force for 12 years.

The present Irish Lotto matrix of 6/45 began in November 2006 increasing the starting jackpot figure to €2 million. This change and the greater odds created several Lotto jackpots of more than €15 million within a short space of time.

As well as the regular Lotto drawings, the Irish National Lottery from time to time creates special prizes for certain Lotto draws. These have included sports cars, diamonds, holiday vouchers and monetary prizes.

On special occasions such as Christmas and Bank Holidays they have also added extra money onto the Irish Lotto jackpot figures making for an even bigger win.

What Are The Odds

The odds of winning on the Irish Lotto are competitive when compared to many Euro lottery or USA lottery games, especially in comparison to the multi-country games such as the EuroMillions.

The chances of winning an Irish Lotto jackpot are 1 in 8.14 million – for these odds you could be an Irish National Lottery jackpot winner.

For one of the prizes on the second level, the odds come in at 1 in 1.35 million. With 7 different ways in total of winning on the Lotto, there are a further 5 prize levels.

The likelihood of winning a third tier prize comes in at 1 in 34.80 thousand and for a prize on the fourth tier the odds are 1 in 28.57 thousand.

To win a prize on the fifth tier of the Irish Lotto, the odds come right down to 1 in 733 with sixth tier odds being 1 in 1,755.

Your chances of a win on the 7th tier are 1 in just 45.

Record Jackpots

Irish Lottery Winner

On November 21st 1996, a record jackpot for the Irish Lotto was won when it reached £7.48 million equivalent to €9.50 and this record lasted for over 10 years.

The lucky winners of the record jackpot for a single ticket win on the Irish Lotto were Paul and Helen Cunningham from Cork who scooped a massive €16.18 million on July 28th 2007. This is the second largest overall jackpot won on the Lotto to date.

A family from Clondalkin in Dublin scooped the third highest jackpot won on the Irish Lotto on April 27th 2008 – the top prize had reached €15.65 million.

The Dan Morrissey group, a sixteen strong syndicate from a quarry and concrete plant in Bennekerry, Carlow, won the largest Irish Lotto jackpot since the game began on June 28th 2008. They won a huge Lotto jackpot of €18,963,441 equivalent to $29.7 at the time.

The largest ever lottery jackpot in Europe to date was won on July 31st 2005 and went to lucky Irish lottery player Dolores McNamara, a part-time cleaning lady from Garryowen in Limerick. She won an incredible €115,436,126 on the Euromillions lottery.

How Are Jackpots Paid

Any prize that you win on the Irish National Lottery including Irish Lotto jackpot prizes, will be paid to you in the form of a tax free cash lump sum.

You will have 90 days from the date of the actual lottery draw taking place to claim your prize.

The importance of this time frame is illustrated by the £2,713,334 (€3,445,934) that went unclaimed on September 26th 2001. This is still the largest unclaimed jackpot prize on the Lotto to date – not the kind of win that you would want to miss out on.

If you buy lottery tickets online with an accredited lottery ticket sales agency though, such as TheLotter or LotteryShop.com however, you will not have to be concerned with any of this as they will take full care of all the details for you as you play Lottery Online .

Where The Money Goes

It is a role of the Minister of Finance in Ireland to decide where lottery proceeds should go and which organisations should benefit.

Revenues are paid into the National Lottery Fund and from this account, proceeds are dealt out to various projects across the country.

Areas of good causes to benefit from lottery funding are health and welfare, recreation, sport, national heritage, the Irish Language and the arts.

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