Regulator seeks report on lotto delay as €10m win unclaimed

Newly installed lottery regulator requests report on issues which forced postponement

 National Lottery machine.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

National Lottery machine.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 

The National Lottery regulator has requested a report on the technical issues which forced the postponement of last Wednesday’s €10 million jackpot draw.

Operator Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) took the unprecedented step of deferring the draw for 24 hours after a telecommunications outage knocked out ticket terminals across its network.

Regulator Liam Sloyan, who only took up his position in November, said he had requested a full report from the operator but declined to comment further on the matter.

Meanwhile, the National Lottery says it not yet been contacted by the mystery winner of the €10 million jackpot, the biggest since last May.

The winning ticket was sold at a Centra store in Newbridge, Co Kildare, several days before the draw. The winner has 90 days to claim the prize.

A lottery spokeswoman confirmed that more than 400,000 players bought tickets for the delayed draw on Thursday.

She said the high number of sales was not unusual in the run-up to a big jackpot, but admitted the franchise would not typically see this level of sales on a Thursday.

Operator PLI blamed the cancellation of its midweek draw on an outage at its telecoms provider, Telefónica.

However, industry sources suggest while the outage may have been triggered by Telefónica, it should not have resulted in such a prolonged disruption.

It took lottery technicians from 9am to 6pm on Wednesday to restore service to retailers.

In a statement to The Irish Times, Telefónica said: “In the early hours of February 4th we were alerted to network problems in Ireland some of which lay with infrastructure provided by Telefónica.”

“After investigation, the cause of the outage was attributed to equipment that had been knocked out by heavy snowfall and severe storm conditions in the north of Spain, ”

“A team of engineers was mobilised and services restored as quickly as possible, nevertheless Telefónica regrets any inconvenience caused to customers and will ensure every measure is taken to prevent repeats of this incident,” the company added.

As part of its own investigation into the matter, PLI has requested a report from Telefónica.

The office of the National Lottery regulator was established under the auspices of the new National Lottery Act. His job is to monitor and enforce compliance by the operator.