Delayed €10m Lotto jackpot draw to go ahead tonight following tech glitch
The biggest Lotto jackpot draw of the year was postponed last night after retailers encountered technical problems with the ticketing system.
The National Lottery confirmed that the €10m midweek draw, which was due to take place live on RTE One shortly before 8pm, would be held tonight instead as customers were not able to purchase tickets throughout most of yesterday.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery confirmed that they made the decision to postpone the Lotto draw for 24 hours for the first time in their 28-year history after problems were encountered with the 3G supply from Spanish communications giants Telefonica, which powers the lottery terminals in stores.
"The National Lottery can confirm that there were technical problems this morning following a service outage related to the 3G telecommunications infrastructure provided by Telefonica," a statement from them read last night.
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They said that this incident affected 3,500 National Lottery agents around the country.
Late last night, work was ongoing to ensure that all agents would be reconnected to the system. But customers who did manage to purchase tickets yesterday have been reassured they will be honoured for tonight's draw.
It is understood that the decision was made to postpone the draw yesterday afternoon as "it wasn't fair on the players to do such a big jackpot".
"We have a 3G card in the terminals that connect, and because the 3G network provider that we use in Ireland is Telefonica, and because their systems have gone down, it means that all the retail systems weren't able to connect because of Telefonica going down in Spain," a source last night told the Irish Independent.
Last year, the National Lottery licence was sold to the consortium Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), who became the first private owners.
PLI were awarded the licence to operate for the next 20 years after making a bid of €405m. The group is comprised of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, An Post and An Post Pension Funds.
This is just the latest embarrassing technical glitch that the National Lottery has suffered in recent weeks.
Last month, it was reported that retailers were complaining that new ticket terminals, which had been supplied by Greek firm Intralot, were suffering technical issues and were failing to scan barcodes on tickets correctly.
The Retail Grocery Dairy & Trades Association (RGDATA), which represents 4,000 stores around the country, last night said they are "very concerned at this latest development".
"It is unacceptable that retailers should suffer a loss of service for this length of time. Retailers are frustrated at the disruption and inconvenience to their businesses and their customers," a spokesperson said last night.
They said they are calling for an investigation into this "serious outage" and are "surprised that the National Lottery don't have a contingency plan in place for a situation like this".
It is understood that tonight's draw will take place at the usual time, but it is not yet clear if the draw will be broadcast on RTE.
The National Lottery has also faced criticism from viewers over its new flagship gameshow on RTE, 'The Million Euro Challenge'.