Here are some interesting Irish Lotto facts.
On November 2, 1996, the Lotto’s largest ever jackpot of £7,486,025 (€9,505,290) was split between two winning tickets, one bought by Mary and Paddy Kelly from Bailieborough in County Cavan, and the other by an anonymous seven-member syndicate from County Meath. The largest Lotto prize ever claimed by a single individual is £6,216,048 (€7,892,753), won on May 21, 1997 by County Cork farmer.
In 2000, the National Lottery introduced Lotto Plus. For an extra £0.25 per combination, players could enter their Lotto numbers in an additional 6/42 "Lotto Plus" drawing for a fixed jackpot of £250,000 (€317,500). The first Lotto Plus drawing took place on October 25, 2000. In 2002, a second Lotto Plus drawing was added (the two extra drawings were now named Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2), the cost of Lotto Plus was raised to €0.50 per combination, and the jackpots were fixed at €300,000 and €200,000 respectively. Lotto Plus jackpots do not roll over.
In November 2006, when Lotto and Lotto Plus adopted a 6/45 matrix, the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 jackpots were raised to €350,000 and €250,000 respectively. The cost of Lotto Plus remained at €0.50 per line. The minimum play is two lines, so the minimum wager to play Lotto with Lotto Plus is now €4.
Lotto 5-4-3-2-1: Based around the main Lotto draw, Lotto 5-4-3-2-1 was introduced in February 1997. It allows players to win prizes by correctly matching one, two, three, four, or five of the drawn numbers. The more numbers players try to match, the greater the prize. Players may base their choices either on a six-number game (excluding the bonus number) or on a seven-number game (including the bonus number). Somewhat of a niche game, Lotto 5-4-3-2-1 accounted for €11 million in sales in 2005.
If you enjoy the National Lottery and Lotto, then you’re sure to like some trivia about the EuroMillions, Telly bingo, Scratch Cards and Game shows.
The National Lottery has participated in the transnational EuroMillions lottery since October 2004. Initially slow to take off in Ireland, EuroMillions experienced a 40% jump in ticket sales after Limerick woman Dolores McNamara won over €115 million on July 31, 2005.
On November 17, 2006, two Irish winners each received one-twentieth of €183 million jackpot when it was divided under the draw's 12-week rollover rule among all players who got five numbers and one lucky star. The winners received €9.6 million each. One winning ticket was purchased in Limerick and the other in Cork.
A standard EuroMillions ticket costs €2.00 per line played, but costs €3.00 if one decides to play with the 'Plus' option.
Telly Bingo was introduced in September 1999. Players buy tickets with 24 randomly generated numbers, and can win prizes by matching the numbers drawn on a lunchtime TV show in a variety of patterns, with a prize of €10,000 going for a full house. An additional €10,000 Snowball prize goes to someone who achieves a full house on or before the 45th number drawn; if not won, the Snowball prize rolls over to the next draw. Telly Bingo sales amounted to €18 million in 2005.
Instant Scratch card Games
The National Lottery had a total of 21 scratch card games on offer during 2005, ranging in price from €1 to €5, and offering instant cash prizes up to €25,000. Total sales of instant games amounted to €160.6 million in this year. €95.4 million was paid out in prizes.
The National Lottery presently funds two televised game shows, Winning Streak, which started in September 1990, and Fame and Fortune, which began in June 1996. Contestants become eligible by getting three "lucky stars" on associated scratch cards and submitting them in special envelopes for a live televised drawing. The game shows feature simplistic money-oriented games played before vigorous audience participation. These game shows paid out a total of €9.9 million in prizes during 2005.
You can bet on the Irish Lottery online at Ladbrokes.com and PaddyPower - for example with PaddyPower you can play "Irish Lucky Numbers" where you can bet on all three draws and nominate between 1 and 5 numbers. The Irish lucky numbers game is based on the official Irish National Lottery Draw. There are a total of three draws each Wednesday and Saturday evening. Customers can bet up until 7.30pm GMT. The draw takes place on RTE at 8pm.