Cost of National Lottery will rise from September 1st
Lotto price is to increase for the second time since the franchise was privatised
The price of a standard two-line ticket with the Lotto Plus option will increase from €5 to €6. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
The cost of playing the National Lottery is to rise for the second time since the franchise was privatised three years ago.
From next month, the price of a standard two-line ticket with the Lotto Plus option will increase from €5 to €6. The cost of Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 draws will rise from 50 cent to €1 per line.
More than 90 per cent of players opt to enter the two secondary draws when buying a ticket for the main weekly jackpot draws.
The changes, which kick in for first time on Saturday, September 1st, are expected to generate significant extra revenue for the Canadian-owned operator, Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), which took over the business in 2015.
“We advised players through the press on August 4th of restrictions on advanced Lotto play due to exciting new enhancements to our Lotto Plus games,” a PLI spokeswoman said.
“These enhancements will see more winners and more millionaires. As well as extra prizes, the changes will include the top prize in Lotto Plus 1 doubling from €500,000 to €1 million,” she said.
“To support these enhancements there will be an increase in the price of a Lotto Plus line from 50 cent to €1, the first increase in 16 years,” she said, while noting there would be no change in the price of a panel for the main lotto draw, which will remain at €4 for a minimum two-line play.
Shortly after taking over the National Lottery, PLI increased the price of a standard two-line ticket for its main weekly draws from €3 to €4 and added two new numbers to the original 45-number format, making it statistically harder for punters to scoop the top prize. The odds of picking all six numbers are now almost 11 million to one.
About 30 per cent of the revenue generated from ticket sales and scratch cards goes to good causes. Last year this amounted to €226 million.
While the internet is proving a boon for sales generally, with more and more players plugging in to play online, the traditional lotto model is under attack from a new wave of bet-on-lotto operators.
Websites such as Lottoland and Jackpot.com allow consumers the chance to select numbers for lotto draws both here and abroad without buying a ticket. If a player hits the right numbers the firms pledge to pay the equivalent prize money, relying on a complex formula of hedging and insurance. They have been described as parasites by the National Lottery.