Want to be a Lottery millionaire? Then move to Dublin or Louth

Dublin is the second luckiest county, with 2.2 lottery millionaires per 10,000 population

EuroMillions winner Dolores McNamara, from Limerick,  after  she was  presented with her cheque for  more than  €115 million. Photograph: Frank Miller/The irish Times

EuroMillions winner Dolores McNamara, from Limerick, after she was presented with her cheque for more than €115 million. Photograph: Frank Miller/The irish Times

Sat, Aug 16, 2014, 08:33

If you live in Louth, Dublin or Donegal, the number of lottery millionaires in your midst is four times that of Kilkenny, according to analysis of €1 million-plus jackpots going back to 1989.

Since the first draw took place in 1988, more than 750 lottery millionaires have been created between the National Lottery’s flagship Lotto game and, in later years, additional games such as the EuroMillions.

Analysis of where all the winning tickets have been sold over the years shows that the distribution of Ireland’s lottery millionaires differs greatly from county to county.

Louth is the luckiest county in Ireland in this regard, with 2.3 lottery millionaires per 10,000 population since its inception.

That is more than four times the rate in Kilkenny and more than three times the number of lottery millionaires who struck it lucky in Leitrim, where just two winning tickets worth €1 million or more have been sold in more than 26 years.

Put it another way, in Louth there is one lottery millionaire in every 4,389 people, whereas only one person in 19,084 has struck it that lucky in Kilkenny and there is just one lottery millionaire per 15,899 people in Leitrim.

Dublin is the second luckiest county, with 2.2 lottery millionaires per 10,000 population. Over the past 2½ decades, 285 millionaires have shared more than €800 million between them in the county, an amount which, if it was shared between every man, woman and child in Dublin, would average out at €640 each.

The north and west have also have a high concentration of jackpot winners with Donegal (where two €1 million jackpot winners have been created per 10,000 population) and Mayo and Sligo (1.8 per 10,000 population) rounding out the top five luckiest counties in Ireland.

Limerick is in 13th place on the list with 1.4 millionaires in every 10,000 people. However, when it comes to big winnings, there is no bigger than that won by Limerick woman Dolores McNamara’s massive €115 million prize in 2005, setting the record for the largest lottery win to date by an individual in Ireland and the largest EuroMillions win in the State.

Ms McNamara’s winnings and the €60 million in combined winnings of 26 other Limerick lottery millionaires over the past 26 years means that, if shared out per capital of population, every single person living in Limerick would be €917 richer, by far the highest distribution to each person in the State.

Carlow has the second-highest distribution per capita, at €665, a figure which is pushed up considerably by the fact that the largest Lotto jackpot win yet of almost €19 million was won in the county in 2008.

The winners on that occasion were the Dan Morrissey Syndicate, made up of 15 male and one female employee of the garage section of the concrete plant, each of whom received over €1 million.

The second largest Lotto win was by a couple in Waterford, who won almost €17 million in 2010. They chose to remain anonymous. There were two big EuroMillions wins last year – a €94 million ticket was sold in Dublin to a winner who did not go public, and a €12.8 million ticket was sold in Waterford to another anonymous winner.

There could have been five more millionaires in Ireland between 2001 and 2003 when four tickets sold in Dublin and one sold in Cork, with a combined worth of €8.2 million, went unclaimed. They included a €3,445,223 ticket sold in Coolock, Dublin, in 2001 and a €1,350,000 ticket in Cork in 2003. It seems people are now keeping better track of their tickets because this was also the last Lotto unclaimed jackpot.

Winners have 90 days to claim their prize. Only one winner left it until the last minute and claimed their €1,639,685 winnings on the last possible day in September 2002.

The data provided by the National Lottery only includes jackpots of more than €1 million across a number of games: Lotto, EuroMillions, Monday Million, Daily Million and Millionaire Raffle.