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Ireland Lottery retailers trying to keep up with jackpot frenzy

Jan 14, 2022, 4:13 pm

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Ireland National Lottery

Stores are stuffed with hopeful lottery players ahead of the must-win Lotto draw

By Kate Northrop

Ireland National Lottery retailers are experiencing a massive surge of lottery ticket sales in advance of the must-win Lotto draw to be held on Saturday.

On Thursday, the Lottery announced that one or more players are guaranteed to win the record-breaking €19.06 million (US$21.81 million) Lotto jackpot in a "will be won" event after it rolled seven months without a winner.

Since the announcement, Lottery retailers have been caught in the whirlwind of players buying up tickets in what is being declared a lottery frenzy.

Noel Dunne owns the Centra supermarket on Parnell Street in Dublin and described the energy in his shop as "manic."

"I always find it amusing that people think they've a better chance in the bigger ones, but I suppose people just want to be involved," Dunne told The Irish Times. "It has generated huge interest."

Although the jackpot has remained at a capped €19 million for seven months since the last winner on June 5, 2021, the must-win draw has caught the attention of lottery players across the nation. From casual players to lottery enthusiasts, lines for buying tickets are longer than usual.

"We have a lot of offices around coming in after organizing syndicates," Dunne continued. "The fact it has been so long, seven months, people just want to be part of the excitement."

Joanna Baker at the Londis convenience store on Westmoreland Street noted the same behavior from customers.

"It's insane at the moment," Baker observed. "People are going mad. One guy spent over €4,000 (US$4,565) today, another spent €2,000 (US$2,283) and one person spent €500 (US$571). That's the most we've ever seen here. People are buying way more lines than usual; it's very big amounts straight away instead of just three or four lines."

The clerk at the Spar convenience store on D'Olier Street said he had a "crazy" morning, noting over ten people spending "big, big money" on lottery tickets, as well as "lots of people coming in for the smaller tickets as well."

"The shop is making the same amount it would make in a normal day through Lotto tickets alone," he remarked.

If the jackpot is not outright won by a player matching all six numbers this Saturday, 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.

However, Lottery spokesperson Fran Whearty said that the jackpot would not be awarded to those holding fewer than five matching numbers because the odds of nobody having at least five numbers are "tiny."

"We can see loads of winners sharing the same prize, but at the end of the day, it is a lottery," he explained.

Tickets sales for the penultimate Lotto drawing are open now until the draw on Saturday night at 8:00 pm GMT.

Thanks for dannyct for the tip.

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