No Changes Yet for Irish Lotto Draw

It was on June 9, 2021, that the Irish Lotto draw last produced a winner. This wouldn’t happen in the Lotto draw held by Camelot. A ‘must be won’ draw prevents that happening but plans to introduce one for the Irish Lotto are no nearer.

For seven months players have been trying to match the six main numbers in the Irish Lotto draw. No ticket has been successful and the jackpot cap of €19 million was reached in October. The top prize has remained at that amount ever since. Over 60 draws have now failed to produce a jackpot winner.

Premier Lotteries run the Irish Lotto and have come under fire for the longest ever run without a jackpot winner. No one is claiming that any wrongdoings are going on but it’s a situation that wouldn’t happen with the UK Lotto draw.

If there are five UK Lotto draws that fail to see the jackpot won, a ‘must-be-won’ draw takes place. That sees the jackpot amount trickle down to other prize tiers if the jackpot still isn’t won. Last month saw the Irish National Lottery operators ask the lottery regulator Carol Boate to approve them going down that route.

However, the request for a ‘must-be-won draw’ has been turned down. The regulator says that she would like to have more information before deciding one way or another. In the meantime, the Irish Lotto jackpot remains a very elusive one.

The most recent draw was on Saturday January 8 and again there was a rollover. No one won the second-tier prize with tickets even unable to match five main balls and the Bonus Ball. That hadn’t been the case in the January 5 draw with three tickets each winning €305,478.

If there are changes made to how the Irish Lotto is run, they must be in the “interest of players.” They must also ensure that the National Lottery “is run with all due propriety and, subject to these, that good causes are maximised”.

To help her in making a decision, the regulator has asked for more “tests and assurances” from Premier Lotteries. Those are “pending” and the draws will continue with hopefully a jackpot win not being too far away.

It’s all very strange because the draw only has 47 balls, compared to the 59 in Lotto. 2020 saw one period when three successive Saturday draws saw the Irish Lotto jackpot won. The previous longest run without a jackpot win was 22 draws.

December saw Ms Boate answering questions from politicians at a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance. She said that the “current extended period without a jackpot win is unusual in the history of the game, but it is not unusual in the history of lotteries”. Although no one has won the jackpot, good causes are still receiving large amounts. Ms Boate said that around €46 million has been earned for them since the last jackpot win in June 2021.

Politicians remain unhappy with what is happening. Fine Gael TD Bernard Dukan has said the draw is “unwinnable” which is a rather ridiculous statement to make. He believes that confidence needs to be restored in the draw. Perhaps the January 12 draw will finally produce a winner.

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