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Irish Lottery Irish Lotto – How to play Irish Lottery? How to win Irish Lotto?

The Irish Lottery Irish Lotto takes place every Wednesday and Saturday night, costs £2 to bet on, offers excellent odds of winning any prize of just 1 in 29 and boasts minimum jackpots of £1.4m. In addition to this you can take the chance to win two more jackpots by betting on the Plus 1 and Plus 2 games for just 50p more!

What is Irish Lottery?

The Irish National Lottery was established in 1986 as a way to help raise vital funding for good causes in the Republic. Ticket sales for scratchcards began in 1987 and were soon followed by the classic game, Irish Lotto, in March 1988. In 2014, the Irish government sold the lottery to Premier Lotteries Ireland, a private company whose investors include the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, who own the Camelot Group responsible for running the UK National Lottery.

Irish Lotto - Irish Lottery the Republic of Ireland

Irish Lotto – Irish Lottery the Republic of Ireland

Irish Lotto is a well-loved draw game held on Wednesday and Saturday nights. The largest prize won so far on the Irish Lotto was in 2008 when €18.9 million was shared between sixteen colleagues at a County Carlow quarry and concrete plant. Other great games offered by the Irish National Lottery include Lotto Plus 1, Lotto Plus 2, Lotto Plus Raffle, Daily Million, EuroMillions and the supplementary EuroMillions Plus game. Players must be at least 18 years old. Irish Lotto prizes must be claimed within 90 days of the draw for which the ticket was purchased.

How To Play Irish Lotto

Irish Lotto tickets can be purchased from authorised retailers in the Republic of Ireland or online wherever you are in the world. Players must buy at least two lines in an Irish Lotto draw and pick six numbers between 1 and 47 on each of their entries.

The game costs €2 per line to play and you must purchase a minimum of two lines at any one time, meaning that the minimum spend is €4. The game offers eight different prize tiers, from a €3 scratchcard for matching two main numbers plus the Bonus Ball up to the jackpot prize for matching all six numbers drawn. The Irish Lotto jackpot has a guaranteed minimum value of €2 million, but can quickly reach larger amounts due to rollovers and ticket sales. Since there is no jackpot cap, the top prize will continue rolling over from draw to draw until a player matches all six main numbers drawn.

Paying an extra €1 will give you entries to both Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2, where additional prizes can be won. Ticket holders keep the same numbers that they played in the main draw in order to win anything from a €1 scratchcard up to €500,000. There is also a Lotto Plus Raffle, with players who match the winning four-digit code each receiving €300.

By playing Irish Lotto online you will be notified of any win by email or, for players wanting to check immediately after the draw has taken place, you can visit the Irish Lotto Results page.

As well as buying one-off tickets or online entries, you can also subscribe to the Irish Lotto in monthly installments. That means you’ll receive automatic entry into all Wednesday and Saturday draws, you can keeping the subscription going for as long as you like to ensure you never miss out on an Irish Lotto win.

Irish Lotto Subscription

Irish Lotto offers jackpots worth millions of pounds and eight ways to win prizes. Draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday and now you can subscribe for just £9.99 a month to make sure you never miss out on a game and save yourself money.

How It Works

Subscribing to Irish Lotto is a quick and simple process. Just follow these easy steps:

  • Click on the play banner above
  • Select your numbers (six from 1 to 47)
  • Sign up for your subscription

Your numbers will be automatically entered into two draws a week and any winnings will be paid straight into your online account. You can log in to change your numbers at any time, or just to check if you are a winner.

By signing up now for just £9.99 a month, you are getting a discount of £10.01 over a regular subscription. The following table shows how much you would save over time:

Length of SubscriptionTotal Saving
1 month£10.01
3 months£30.03
6 months£60.06
12 months£120.12
24 months£240.24

Irish Lottery Odds of Winning

The Irish Lottery compares favourably with many other lotteries around the world, with a relatively good chance of matching all six main numbers drawn to claim the top prize. The odds of winning the Irish Lotto jackpot of at least €2 million by matching six numbers correctly from 47 currently stand at 1 in 10,737,573.

This table shows the full breakdown of the chances of winning in each of the eight tiers:

Number MatchedPrizeOdds of Winning
6 main numbersJackpot (minimum of €2 million)1 in 10,737,573
5 main numbers + Bonus BallAverage of €100,000 (value dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners)1 in 1,789,596
5 main numbersPrize value dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners1 in 44,740
4 main numbers + Bonus BallPrize value dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners1 in 17,896
4 main numbersPrize dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners1 in 1 in 918
3 main numbers + Bonus BallPrize value dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners1 in 688
3 main numbersAverage of €9 (value dependent on size of prize pool and number of winners)1 in 54
2 main numbers + Bonus Ball€3 Scratchcard1 in 72

In the event that more than one player matches six main numbers to win the jackpot, the top prize will be split evenly among the winning ticket holders. Overall odds of winning any Irish Lotto prize are approximately 1 in 29.

The remaining 15.8% of the Prize Fund is then allocated to a reserve Prize Fund that can be used for any prize tier in a given Irish Lotto game.

Playing Lotto Plus 1, Lotto Plus 2 and Lotto Plus Raffle in addition to Irish Lotto shortens your odds of winning prizes and you can find out more at the pages dedicated to these supplementary games.

Irish Lotto Prizes

Irish Lotto jackpots start at €2 million and grow quickly thanks to rollovers, regularly passing the €5 million mark. Players are required to match six numbers from a choice of 47 in order to claim the top prize, meaning the game has very favourable odds of winning the jackpot when compared with other major lotteries.

Irish Lotto Jackpot Cap

Irish Lotto has a current jackpot cap of €18.96 million and, once a rollover has taken the top prize up to or over that amount, no more will be added to the jackpot until it is won. If there is no Match 6 winner in a draw after the cap has been hit, the amount from ticket sales that would have been added to the jackpot for the following draw is instead used to boost the prize pool for the next winning tier.

If the jackpot is won at an amount higher than €18.96 million, that amount will become the game’s new current jackpot cap.



Irish Lotto Winners

Lucky Irish lottery winners have picked up some gigantic sums over the years courtesy of Irish Lotto and EuroMillions. Take a look at some of the largest lottery wins claimed across the Republic of Ireland.

The biggest Irish Lotto jackpot ever won was worth €18.9 million and was won in 2008 by a syndicate of workers from the Dan Morrissey quarry in Co Carlow. The group was made up of 15 men and one woman from the garage section of the plant, who played a €32 Quick Pick entry in the draw on Saturday 28th June 2008. Other notable Irish Lotto winners include:

  • The biggest jackpot prize awarded to a single ticket holder was worth €16.7 million and was won on 14th April 2010 by a couple from Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
  • A ticket holder from Donnybrook, Dublin won €16.3 million on October 23rd 2010.
  • The Cunningham family from Cork claimed £16.1 million in July 2007.
  • A family from Belmullet in Co Mayo picked up £13.7 million in the Irish Lotto draw on Saturday 23rd January 2016.

Irish Lotto History

With its great value supplementary games to the time a syndicate tried to buy up every possible combination of numbers, Irish Lotto has had a fascinating history. Have a look at the timeline to find out more.

Previous Changes to Irish Lotto

16th Apr 1988: Irish Lotto was drawn for the first time, with players trying to match six numbers from a choice of 36.
30th May 1990: A Wednesday night draw was introduced.
30th May 1992: A Dublin syndicate, led by Stefan Klincewicz, attempted to buy up all possible Irish Lotto combinations in order to guarantee a jackpot win. Although they shared the jackpot with two other ticket holders, prizes won in the other tiers meant they made a profit of just over IR£300,000 before expenses.
22nd Aug 1992:
  • The first draw with an increased ball pool of 39 was held.
  • The Bonus Ball was introduced, creating three more prize tiers.
24th Sep 1994:
  • The ball pool was increased to 42.
  • Quick Picks were first used, allowing the lottery terminal to choose a random selection of numbers.
 26th Sep 1998:
  • The ticket price rose from IR£0.50 to IR£0.75.
  • The games starting jackpot was increased to IR£1 million, with other prize tiers also increasing in value.
28th Oct 2000:

Lotto Plus was introduced, giving players’ numbers from the main game a second chance to win a prize. Entry cost an additional IR£0.25 for each line, with a fixed jackpot of IR£250,000 available.

1st Jan 2002:

The Euro was introduced, meaning that the price of a single ticket was €0.95 and the base jackpot was set at €1.269 million.

4th Sep 2002:
  • The price of a single line on Irish Lotto rose slightly to €1 and the starting jackpot became €1.35 million.
  • Another Lotto Plus draw was added, with both games rebranded as Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2. The jackpots were set at €300,000 for Lotto Plus 1 and €200,000 for Lotto Plus 2.
  • Entry into the Lotto Plus games was set at €0.50.
4th Nov 2006:
  • The ball pool expanded to 45.
  • The jackpot was guaranteed to be a minimum of €2 million.
  • The Match 5+1 prize rose from €12,000 to €25,000.
  • A Match 3 prize of €5 was introduced.
  • The ticket price was increased to €1.50 per line, with a minimum purchase of €3.
  • Lotto Plus 1’s jackpot became €350,000 and the top prize for Lotto Plus 2 was boosted to €250,000.
28th Jun 2008:

A group of 16 workers at a quarry in Co Carlow won €18.9 million, the biggest ever Irish Lotto jackpot.

4th Feb 2015:

The Wednesday night Irish Lotto draw was postponed due to a technical fault that prevented players from buying tickets. The draw was eventually held the next night.

3rd Sept 2015:
  • The ball pool expanded from 45 to 47.
  • The price of Irish Lotto tickets increased to €2 per line for a minimum purchase of €4.
  • The Match 5+1 prize changed from a fixed €25,000 to an estimated €100,000 in each draw.
  • A new prize tier was introduced for matching two main numbers and the Bonus Ball.
  • The top prize on Lotto Plus 1 increased from €350,000 to €500,000.
  • The Lotto Plus Raffle, with a prize of €300, was introduced.

Irish Lotto Good Causes

The Irish Lottery has raised more than €4.5 billion for good causes throughout the Republic since its inception, which includes projects in the area of:

  • Youth, sport, recreation and amenities
  • Health and welfare
  • Arts, culture, national heritage and the Irish language

The Irish Lottery transfers any funds raised to the country’s Exchequer, from where they are used to contribute towards expenditures by various government departments on schemes that fall under the categories listed above.

Contributions to good causes are set at an annual rate of 65% of gross gambling revenues (defined as “sales minus prizes”). Projects that have received Irish Lottery funding include the Baton Twirling Sport Association of Ireland, the Clondalkin Youth Band and the St. Johns Ambulance in Drogheda.

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