The Ireland Lotto’s 45-number guess range and bonus number offer players impressive winning odds, more prize categories, and some of Europe’s most impressive prizes.
Ireland Lotto History
The Ireland Lotto began in 1988, shortly after the Irish government created a National Lottery Act to support various areas of Irish life including sports, recreations, health, welfare, arts and national history. The Ireland Lottery held its first draw on April 16, 1988 and has risen over €3.6 billion for Irish society since its inception. All proceeds from the National Lottery are stored in the National Lottery Fund and distributed at the discretion of the Minister of Finance.
Two thirds of the adult Irish population has played the Ireland Lotto regularly since its creation. However, the play format has changed significantly throughout its 24 year history. The Ireland Lotto was founded with a single drum 6/36 number format, took on a 6/39 format in 1992, and added a bonus number in the same year. The matrix changed again in 1994, when lottery officials increased the guess range to 1-42 and upped the jackpot value in order to prevent the Irish in the northern periphery from switching to the British National Lottery. In November 2006, Ireland Lotto adopted on its current format, when the guess range was increased to 45 numbers, the starting jackpot was set at €2 million, and the second prize value was doubled to €25,000.
A November 1996 €9,505,290 jackpot remained the lottery’s record high prize for over 10 years, until a top prize of €18,963,441 was won in June 2008 by a syndicate of 16 workers at a quarry and concrete factory. A single player won at €16,717,717 jackpot in April 2010, making this ticket the biggest single win in Ireland Lotto history.
Ireland Lotto Rules
To play the Ireland Lotto, select 6 numbers between 1 and 45. Seven numbers are selected during the draw, six regular numbers and a bonus number, pulled from the same drum. The bonus number cannot contribute to a jackpot-winning combination but can help players win three out of the lottery’s six secondary prizes.
When playing the lottery online, players can choose numbers manually (Natural Selection), have the numbers randomly selected by the system (Quick Pick), or draw the number selection from saved numbers in their theLotter.com account (My Numbers). Players can ensure never to miss a draw and receive significant discounts with a Multi-Draw or Subscription exclusively at theLotter!
Ireland Lottery online ticket sales close approximately three hours before to the draw, which takes place every Wednesday and Saturday at 19:00 GMT. Irish Lottery results are available at theLotter.com at 20:00 GMT, the day of the draw.
Winning the Ireland Lotto
To win the jackpot, players must match 6 numbers from the 1-45 range. Ireland Lottery has 6 secondary prize divisions, which are awarded for matching between 3 and 5 numbers of the regular guess set, both alone and in combination with the bonus number.
Due to its relatively small guess range, Ireland Lotto is recognized for its favorable winning odds both for in jackpot and secondary prize divisions. Players are 42% more likely to win the Ireland Lotto jackpot than a first prize of a lottery with a pick 6/49 structure. The odds of winning the Ireland Lotto jackpot are an impressive 1 in 8 million, making this lotto one of Europe’s most accessible prizes.
The Ireland Lotto has a base jackpot of €2,000,000, which will roll over into the subsequent draw if no winner is called. In addition to the lottery’s record jackpot of €18,963,441, other notable jackpots include a €16,717,717 prize won in April 2010 and a €16,390,239 prize won in October 2010. All Ireland Lotto jackpots are tax-free and distributed in a cash lump sum payment.
Ireland Lotto Statistics
Ireland Lotto donates 32 cents of every Euro earned. In 2010 alone, Ireland Lotto donated €243.7 million to non-profit organizations and charities around Ireland. Beneficiaries include the MS Society of Ireland, Irish Hockey, Environmental and Educational organizations, Tourism and arts council, and projects that promote health and benefit children.
Ireland Lotto Anecdote
Racing to Win - Ken Treacy was one of the 16 lucky concrete mixers who took home a share of the record-breaking €18.9 million Ireland Lotto jackpot in June 2008. Ken had been a huge fan of car racing and had worked as a marshal at previous Rally Ireland events. After winning millions in the lottery, Ken decided to take his chances, buy a car and enter the 2009 professional rally, racing against the world’s best racecar drivers.
Beginner's Love Luck - It took seven numbers for Carol and Kevin Geoghegan's dreams to come true. Actually, it was Kevin's dream that came true. "I wanted to win the Lotto," he said. The couple from Mullingar, Ireland matched six regular numbers and a bonus number in the Ireland Lotto to win a life-changing €10,565,261! Ironically, Kevin had tried to persuade Carol several times to go on a date with him, eventually coaxing her into it. He also convinced her to split the price of a Quick Pick ticket for Draw 2013/49 on May 29th. Three weeks after they started dating, the gamble that Carol took on her relationship with Kevin as well as on the lottery ticket paid off!
To read more about Ireland's Lotto, check out the official site here.