€4.8m Lotto ticket makes it to HQ after RTE blunder
Published 25/12/2011 | 05:00
National Lottery bosses heaved a sigh of relief when the sole winner of last Saturday's €4.8m lotto jackpot presented his winning ticket at their headquarters on Wednesday.
It meant that the RTE cock-up, which led to the wrong numbers being posted on screen at the end of last Saturday night's draw, had not led to the ultimate calamity of a big winner tearing up a winning ticket.
The error, blamed on a software glitch, has not led to any claims or protests to the National Lottery so far.
Since the error, both RTE and National Lottery chiefs have claimed that the numbers shown on screen are visible for such a short time that it was unlikely anyone would destroy their ticket after a cursory glance.
However, with tens of thousands of TV viewers now using Sky Plus, UPC or similar enhanced services which would allow viewers to "freeze frame" the lottery numbers to allow them to double check tickets, there was a worry there would be a raft of claims.
The draw was carried out correctly during the live broadcast on RTE 1, but the numbers displayed at the end were wrong for the main Lotto jackpot of €4.8m and Lotto Plus 2 draws.
Montrose said a software update, which was carried out ahead of Saturday's draw, was to blame.
An RTE spokeswoman said the error was spotted almost immediately and, to rectify it, three peak-time 40-second continuity announcements were made that evening giving the correct numbers and displaying them visually.
The announcements were made after Winning Streak at 9.19pm, after the weather forecast at 9.48pm, and after The Saturday Night Show at 11.10pm.
The National Lottery had expressed concern that the mistake could have potentially interfered with the competition and resulted in someone missing out on a life-changing prize. A lottery spokeswoman said that while "these things do happen", there was concern that "anything would interfere with someone claiming a prize".
"We would like to know what happened and would like to make sure that it doesn't happen again," she added.
There was relief when one lucky Limerick man picked up the cheque for €4,817,816 on Wednesday.
"It hasn't sunk in," said the happy winner, who wishes to keep his name confidential.
"Never in a million years did I think I'd be walking away from National Lottery offices a multi-millionaire."
The lucky €4 Quick Pick ticket was bought in Ryan's Centra, Newport, Co Tipperary, on the day of the draw. The winner currently has no plans for the win, preferring to take some time out before making any big decisions.
This is the second big win for a National Lottery player at Ryan's Centra.
In May 2010 a lucky Dublin man, who bought a Lotto ticket at the store, won the Lotto Plus 1 top prize of €350,000.