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Ireland National Lottery to hold must-win draw for €19 million jackpot

Jan 13, 2022, 2:09 pm

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Ireland National Lottery

The seven-month winner drought will finally end Saturday

By Kate Northrop

It's been seven months without a winner in the Ireland National Lottery's Lotto game, and Saturday, the capped €19.06 million (US$21.81 million) jackpot will finally be awarded to one (or more) lucky players.

The National Lottery announced on Thursday that one or more players will win the current record-breaking Lotto jackpot in a guaranteed "will be won" event to be held this Saturday.

"We know that most of our Lotto players would like to see the €19 [million] jackpot won, so we are delighted to be able to make this announcement," a National Lottery spokesperson said.

Last month, executives at Premier Lotteries Ireland, the operator of the Ireland National Lottery, discussed enacting regulations that would require a drawing for a capped jackpot to produce a winner after a certain number of rollovers.

"While this current Lotto jackpot rollover is truly unprecedented and has generated so much excitement and participation in the Lotto game, the National Lottery is now pleased to announce that this 'will be won' event will take place on 15 January," the spokesperson continued. "In addition, the National Lottery will operate the same 'will be won' event going forward, with Lotto jackpots guaranteed to be won no more than five draws after the cap has been reached."

The 'will be won' drawing works such that, if the jackpot is not outright won by a player matching all six numbers on the fifth capped jackpot draw, the full value of the jackpot prize will flow down to the winner(s) of the next winning prize tier. For example, if no one matches all six numbers to win the jackpot, but there are winners in the Match 5 + Bonus prize tier, those players will win €19.06 million plus the additional funds that would have gone to the jackpot.

Many players frustrated with the "unwinnable" jackpot and never-ending rollovers are ready to say good riddance to the current draw cycle, but it was the seemingly infinite rollover streak that fostered worldwide interest in the game.

"The current Lotto jackpot rollover is unprecedented in the history of the game and has resulted in there being no Lotto jackpot winner in the game since 5th June 2021," the Lottery said regarding its decision to enact a must-win drawing. "The approved game changes will bring this roll to a celebratory end to ensure that a players(s) can enjoy this life-changing prize by a guaranteed date."

The current Lotto jackpot has been rolling since Wed., June 9, 2021 and reached its €19.06 million cap on Sat., Oct. 2. While the jackpot remained untouched for months, the surplus of funds allocated to jackpot have been flowing down to the lower prize tiers with every draw.

According to the Lottery, over 300 Lotto players have collectively won over €23.9 million (US$27.4 million) in the Match 5 + Bonus and Match 5 prize tiers in this draw cycle.

"Since the Lotto jackpot reached the €19.06 million cap last October, we have seen winners at lower prize tiers benefiting from the prize roll down of approximately €23.9 million; the biggest winner of all has been the Good Causes Fund which will benefit directly from €53 million [US$60.74 million] in funding from this Lotto roll cycle alone," the spokesperson added.

The Lottery also confirmed that, in 2021, there were 17 new millionaires made by the Lotto game in Ireland, including five jackpot winners, nine Lotto Plus 1 top prize winners of €1 million (US$1.15 million), and three winners of the Match 5 + Bonus prize who won in excess of €1 million due to the flow-down of the jackpot prize fund for the capped €19.06 million jackpot roll.

"Over the past number of months, we have worked with our technical suppliers and an independent review team to introduce this 'will be won' draw to the game," the spokesperson finished. "Following regulatory approval, we are delighted to be in a position to confirm that there will be a guaranteed 'will be won' Lotto jackpot on Saturday 15th January. This promises to be the biggest and most exciting night for Lotto players in Ireland in the history of the game."

The Lottery recommended that players buy their tickets earlier in-store or online before 7:45 pm GMT on Saturday, Jan. 15.

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