Irish lottery “will-be-won” draw boosts sales

Future Irish lottery jackpots must be won within five draws.
Future Irish lottery jackpots must be won within five draws.

A change in rules created new interest in the Irish lottery after months with no jackpot winner.

Ireland.- The Irish National Lottery has finally broken its cycle of no jackpot wins and revived its sales after rules were changed to allow a “will-be-won” draw on Saturday.

The change in rules led to a boost in sales for the lottery, which had come in for criticism after more than seven months without a jackpot winner. The lottery’s app reportedly crashed due to high demand shortly before the 7.45pm deadline.

The jackpot hadn’t been won since June 9 and had remained capped at its maximum limit of €19.06m since early October. However, last week a change of rules was approved so that if there was no winner on Saturday, the jackpot would flow down to lower-tier winners.

The change was proposed by lottery boss Andrew Algeo in December. Bernard Durkan, a Teachta Dála in Ireland’s lower house, the Dáil Éireann, for the Fine Gael party, had called for an audit and investigation of the lottery.

From now on, jackpots will be guaranteed to be won within five draws after the cap has been reached.

National Lottery spokesperson Fran Whearty said retail partners had reported “incredibly strong” sales of tickets on Saturday as the first-ever will-be-won draw revived interest in the lottery. Whearty had encouraged players to stick to their usual routine and not to buy extra tickets.

In the end the new mechanism was unneeded this week as Saturday’s jackpot was won by a single winner, although the mechanism did result in additional lower-tier winners as well.

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