Tuesday 6 December 2016

Lotto Jackpot set to exceed €10m but do the odds mean you're wasting your cash?

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 11/01/2016 | 15:22

The Lotto jackpot is heading for €10 million this Wednesday
The Lotto jackpot is heading for €10 million this Wednesday

This Wednesday's Lotto Jackpot is set to top €10m – however your odds of winning have shot up from eight million to one last year to almost 11 million to one as the game currently stands.

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Premier Lotteries Ireland confirmed to Independent.ie that it's the first time the prize money has reached such dizzying heights since April 4 2015.

On that occasion €10,650,121 was won by syndicate of two from Co Meath who vowed to pay off their family members’ mortgages.

However, on a realistic note, it's also worthwhile to remember that six months ago, when 'Bigger Better Lotto' was introduced, the odds of winning were also widened.

In other words the jackpot may be bigger but your chances of winning it are slimmer.

The chances of landing the top prize and receiving the life-changing loot shot up from eight million to one to almost 11 million to one.

In September 2015, the odds of winning decreased, with the addition of two additional numbers (46 & 47) to the existing 45 number Lotto game.

A price increase was introduced around the same time, bringing the cost of a standard two-line Lotto ticket to €4, up from €3.

The draw-based game now features balls numbered from 1 to 47, meaning a total increase of 11 numbers in recent years, as panels contained only 36 numbers when the game began in 1988.

Most weeks nobody strikes it lucky and wins the jackpot, though Lotto does create over 20 millionaires a year.

Interestingly, these changes haven't dampened our enthusiasm for the game, with players spending €760m per year on National Lottery games.

Back in August PLI said there would be bigger payouts for some smaller prizes, players who match five numbers and the bonus ball will win €100,000, and there will be a prize for matching two numbers plus the bonus number.

Dermot Griffin, PLI Chief executive, also said it would also mean better odds of winning a prize from one in 42 to one in 28, and that there will likely be up to 10 jackpots of more than €10m each year.

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