Lottery defers €10m jackpot draw after technical problems

Midweek draw will be held tonight because of outage which downed terminals

The National Lottery said at least 3,500 agents across its retail network had been left without service

The National Lottery was last night forced to defer its weekly prize draw for the first time in its 28-year history when technical problems knocked out most of the ticket terminals across the country.

Wednesday’s €10 million lotto jackpot draw, the largest in several months, was cancelled a couple of hours before it was due to take place because of what the company described as a "telecommunications problem" blamed on its service provider, Telefónica.

The draw will now take place this evening.

The incident could not have come at a worse time for the new operator of the franchise Premier Lotteries Ireland. It has been under fire over the performance of its new ticket terminals which retailers claim are plagued by glitches.

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Up 3,500 terminals, equating to 95 per cent of the network, went out of commission for several hours yesterday.

Thousands of frustrated players took to social media to register their dissatisfaction at not being in with a chance to win the bumper jackpot before the operator took the decision to postpone the draw for 24 hours.

Premier Lotteries said technicians were continuing work to re-establish the connection between the agent terminals and the network.

In a statement, it said it had been experiencing "technical problems following a service outage related to the 3G telecommunications infrastructure provided by Telefónica”.

"This incident affected business customers across Ireland and Europe including over 3,500 National Lottery agents."

“To ensure all our players have an opportunity to play for the €10 million Lotto jackpot, the Lotto draw will now take place on Thursday.”

All tickets purchased for the midweek draw will remain valid, it added.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times