Number of lottery winners declines, prize money rises

Odds of winning Lotto jackpot is now 11 million to one after two more balls added

A screengrab from the National Lottery website.

A screengrab from the National Lottery website.


The number of overall Lotto prize draw winners has fallen since the game was changed last month but the amount of money given out in prizes has increased, according to the operators.

On September 3rd, two extra numbers were added to the draw bringing the total number of balls up to 47 from 45. This means the odds of winning a jackpot lengthened from 8 million to one to 11 million to one.

According to the operator of the lottery Premier Lotteries Ireland, some 840,932 people claimed a total of €20.1 million in prizes in either the Lotto draw or in a scratchcard games during the seven weeks since the changes were introduced.

This compares to 1,250,553 winners who claimed a total of €17.6 million over the seven week period prior to the changes.

Despite the reduced chances of winning a Lotto jackpot, more money has been handed out to jackpot winners under the auspices of the newly rebranded “Bigger Better Lotto”.

The operator said €10.3 million has been won in jackpots since September 3rd, compared with €8.8 million during the preceding seven week period.

According to a spokeswoman for operator, players’ chances of winning a prizer in the core Lotto draw had increased as a result of the overhauled structure.

She claimed the odds for players to win any prize in the core Lotto game had improved from 1:42 to 1:28.7.

The changes to the main Lotto game were made by PLI, which also introduced a €1 price increase to the cost of the minimum two-line play. PLI paid €405 million for the licence to run the competitions over the next 20 years.

It comes against the backdrop of figures released by PLI earlier this year which showed that the national lottery made a loss of €17.4 million in the 19 months to the end of 2014.