Friday 31 October 2014

What are the odds? Six winners pick same Lotto jackpot numbers

Published 20/01/2014 | 02:30

Martha and Joe Leahy of Newgate Stores in Navan, Co Meath, which sold one of the winning tickets. Picture: COLLINS
Martha and Joe Leahy of Newgate Stores in Navan, Co Meath, which sold one of the winning tickets. Picture: COLLINS
Geeta Saini at Hayden's Centra Store in Seabury, Malahide, Co Dublin.
Geeta Saini at Hayden's Centra Store in Seabury, Malahide, Co Dublin.

IT was a 48.5 million-to-one Lotto draw on Saturday night -- and unfortunately that meant that six separate winners will have to share the spoils between them.

While finding out you picked all six numbers was a dream come true -- the winners of this weekend's top prize of €3.5m soon discovered they must share it six ways.

Instead of one lucky punter taking the whole €3,528,865 pot, the winners will now each get a lesser prize of €588,144. Six players picking the same six winning numbers is an ultra-rare occurrence although it has happened at least once before in Ireland, in March 2006. The numbers drawn last Saturday night were 4, 5, 13, 21, 29, 37 and the bonus was 22. The odds of winning the Lotto jackpot are around one in eight million, said founder of MathsIreland.com Peter Lee.

"There are 45 numbers, and you have to pick the winning six -- meaning there are 45 combinations of six to pick," he said.

You have a one in 8,145,060 chance of your six numbers coming up. That's just with one set of six numbers. The chances of six people winning the Lotto is about one in 48.5 million."

The winning tickets were sold all over the country, in the south, south east, east, north east, mid west and Dublin. And each winner played their own numbers as opposed to a Quick Pick.

One of the winning tickets was bought on Saturday in Newgate Stores, Mace on the Kells Road, in Navan, Co Meath. The ticket cost €8.

Joseph Leahy, who has owned and run the store with his mother for the past 34 years, said they were delighted to have sold on of the winning tickets.

"It's brilliant. It's a big boost for the shop and the local community. There is such a buzz with everyone wondering who could have won," he said.

"It is tremendously exciting. We're a shop a couple of miles outside town; it's a country shop in a country area so we're really hoping it's someone local."

Another winning ticket was bought on Friday at JJ O'Driscoll's Superstore, Ballinlough Road in Co Cork. The ticket was for €20.

"Hopefully it'll be a nice start to the new year for someone," said owner Neil O'Driscoll. "There is a great buzz around the place, the story started breaking about 12pm," he said.

The other tickets were purchased in different counties across Ireland.

Dunnes Stores in Redmond Square, Co Wexford, sold a winning ticket for €20. It was bought on Saturday.

Seabury Centra Foodmarket, Old Yellow Walls Road in Malahide, Co Dublin, sold another winning ticket for €6 on Saturday.

Centra Foodmarket in Dromcollogher, Co Limerick, sold a €4 winning ticket on Saturday and a winning €8 multi-draw ticket was sold in SuperValu, Church Road, Greystones in Co Wicklow.

Fiona Ellis

Irish Independent

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