Irish Lotto is a popular national lottery game both in Ireland and around the world thanks to its great jackpot odds.
The game follows a familiar format that both old and new players will easily be able to follow.
In this guide, we’ll tell you all the information you need to start playing this fun and exciting game, and show you how to buy Irish Lotto tickets online.
About Irish Lotto
Launched in March 1988, Irish Lotto is run by the Irish National Lottery and is their flagship lotto game.
The popularity of Irish Lotto has spurred the launch of two spinoff games, Lotto 5-4-3-2-1, launched in 1997, and Lotto Plus, launched in 2000.
The game has undergone a few changes over the years, most of which included adding more numbers to the ball pool.
In September 2015, a few changes were made to help create bigger jackpots and attract more players.
The latest changes occurred in September 2018.
Irish Lotto Draws
Ireland Lotto is a bi-weekly game with draws taking place every Wednesday and Saturday at around 7:55 pm GMT.
Players have until 7:45 pm GMT the night of the draws to purchase tickets.
During the draw, six main numbers and one bonus number are selected. The draws are broadcast live on TV on RTÉ.
How to Play Irish Lotto
Players must select six numbers from a main ball pool of numbers 1 through 47 and an additional bonus ball.
To win the jackpot, a player must match all six main numbers.
The bonus ball applies to four of the eight prize tiers but does not need to match in order to win the top prize.
Players must purchase a minimum of two lines at €2 each, meaning a standard ticket costs €4.
Individuals who buy lottery tickets through independent online retailers may have to pay an additional charge.
Players can also choose the Plus option when purchasing their tickets.
The Plus option costs an additional €1 and includes entries to the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 draws, as well as the Plus Raffle.
Irish Lotto Prizes and Odds
Irish Lotto jackpots start at a minimum of €2 million and roll over when there is no top-tier winner.
As of a September 2015 format change, there is currently a jackpot cap of €18.96 million.
Once the jackpot reaches the cap, the prize will remain static. Meanwhile, the excess funds that would normally go toward the jackpot roll down to the next winning tier, likely the 5 + Bonus tier.
When this occurs, the total of the capped jackpot amount plus the excess will likely become the new jackpot cap.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 10,737,573-pretty decent for a lottery with jackpots of this size.
The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 29.
The minimum number matches required to win a prize are two plus the bonus ball, which awards a €3 ticket for the Irish Daily Million draw.
The odds per prize tier and the estimated winnings per tier are as follows:
Odds of Winning
1 in 10,737,573
5 + Bonus
1 in 1,789,596
1 in 44,740
4 + Bonus
1 in 17,896
1 in 918
3 + Bonus
1 in 688
1 in 54
2 + Bonus
1 in 72
€3 Daily Million Quick Pick with Plus (2 Lines)
Claiming Irish Lotto Prizes
Irish Lotto winners must claim their prizes within 90 days of the draw date, and all big winners have the right to keep their identity anonymous.
All prizes are awarded as lump sums and are tax-free.
However, players who purchased their tickets from an online lottery agent may have to pay taxes in accordance with the laws of their country of residence.
Notable Irish Lotto Winners
The biggest jackpot in Irish Lotto history was won in June 2008 and was shared by a lottery syndicate of 16 people. The syndicate was formed by quarry workers from County Carlow, who all shared the €18,963,441 prize.
The largest single-winner jackpot was won in 2010 and totalled €16.7 million.
Ireland Lotto-Should You Play?
Irish Lotto has earned international attention thanks to its large jackpot prizes and decent odds.
With eight prize tiers and three additional chances of winning with a €1 additional charge for the Plus option, there are many chances to win.
If you’re looking for a new game to try, Irish Lotto offers a lot and is easy to recommend.