The Irish Lotto is the main lottery game under the National Lottery banner in Ireland. It began as a scratchcard-only game in 1987, but a year later became a typical ‘lucky numbers’-type lottery draw. It has been running ever since and is commissioned by the Irish government.
Lots of people have become instant millionaires via playing the Irish Lotto, while the Lotto itself has raised millions for good causes such as health, welfare and the environment.
While never matching the dazzling figures of US lotteries such as the Powerball, an Irish lotto bet can still win you a substantial amount of money. The largest-ever Irish Lotto win was achieved in 2008 by a syndicate of 16 people. They took home a share of €18.9 million (around £15 million at the time).
The lotto runs twice per week and the jackpot starts at €2 million (£1.75 million). It frequently rolls over and jackpot wins usually range between €6 million and €10 million (£5.25 million and £8.8 million).
The Irish Lotto runs every Wednesday and Saturday. The minimum entry is two lines per ticket purchased, therefore in order to play you need to select two lines of six numbers from 1 to 47. You have until 7.45pm (GMT) on the days of the draw to complete your entry.
During the draw, six balls are drawn plus one bonus ball. The jackpot (minimum €2 million) is won by matching all six balls. You also win a prize if you match at least three main draw balls, or two balls and the bonus ball.
While you do have to be an Irish resident to buy Irish Lotto tickets, you do not have to be an Irish resident to bet on the Irish Lotto. You can bet on the Irish Lotto anywhere in the world via an online lottery site. In effect, you are betting with the site that you will win the lottery. The site will cover your bet by buying an Irish Lotto ticket using the numbers you have selected.
There are other ways of betting on the Irish Lotto, as follows.
There are three draws made when it’s lotto time in Ireland – the Irish Lotto, the Irish Lotto Plus 1 and the Irish Lotto Plus 2. Here is a comparison table of the odds of winning, and expected returns for each:
|Category||Odds||Lotto Returns||Lotto Plus 1 Returns||Lotto Plus 2 Returns |
|6 numbers||1 in 10,7373,573||Jackpot||£900,000||£225,000 |
|5 numbers + bonus||1 in 1,789,596||£73,000||£4,500||£2,250 |
|5 numbers||1 in 44,740||£1,100||£450||£225 |
|4 numbers + bonus||1 in 17,896||£110||£45||£22 |
|4 numbers||1 in 918||£36||£16||£9 |
|3 numbers + bonus||1 in 688||£18||£9||£4.50 |
|3 numbers||1 in 54||£7||£2.70||£2.67 |
|2 numbers + bonus||1 in 72||£2||£1.78||£1.78 |
There are three draws made – the main draw plus two additional draws. There is also a raffle. Here is an explanation of the additional elements of the Irish Lotto:
The Lotto Plus 1 is a draw of six balls and a bonus ball that is drawn after the main draw. You can enter your numbers into the Lotto Plus 1 draw for a small additional fee. The jackpot is fixed at €1,000,000.
The Lotto Plus 2 works in the same way as the Lotto Plus 1 and is drawn after the Lotto Plus 1 draw. Again, you can use your main Lotto selection to enter the Lotto Plus 2 for an additional fee. The jackpot here is fixed at €250,000.
You are entered into the Lotto Plus Raffle automatically if you enter the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 draws. You will be given a four-digit code as your raffle number. If your code is drawn after the main Irish Lotto draws, then you win €500!
Now you know everything about placing an Irish Lotto Bet. Remember, as you are betting on the outcome of the Irish Lotto and not buying an Irish Lotto ticket, you can – via an online lottery site – play the Irish Lotto anywhere in the world!
If you bet on the Irish Lotto, remember to check those Irish Lotto bet results! Bet on the Irish Lotto to give yourself the chance of becoming an Irish Lotto millionaire!