Fury over Millionaire Raffle as punters call for live draw
ONLY the winners of the Lotto's first Millionaire Raffle draw seemed happy yesterday after a major row erupted over the way it was conducted.
There was outrage after the results of the sell-out game, broadcast during a break in the Rose of Tralee, were announced without a draw on live TV.
Some of the 300,000 players who bought tickets for the draw were also highly suspicious that one of the millionaire winners came from Tralee.
Two tickets, bought in Kerry and Tipperary, each won €1m in the first ever Millionaire Raffle, which was hosted by Derek Mooney.
The winning tickets were sold at the post office in Ardfert, Tralee, Co Kerry, and the Book Centre on O'Connell Street, Clonmel, in Tipperary.
During a six-and-a-half minute broadcast before the 9pm RTE news on Tuesday night, Mr Mooney announced the winners.
Photos of the agents who sold the winning tickets were also aired during the broadcast. It was possible to organise the photos, as the draw had taken place earlier in the day at National Lottery headquarters in Dublin.
Angry punters flooded the National Lottery headquarters in Dublin with complaints yesterday and phoned radio stations claiming the draw was not transparent.
They attacked a National Lottery spokesperson when she refused to say the format of the draw was a mistake.
But the spokesperson, Paula McEvoy, admitted she would be "foolish" not to take the comments on board when planning future draws.
A caller to RTE radio yesterday said National Lottery bosses had to "hold their hands up and come out with a statement. They've got it wrong," he said.
Another caller, called Richard, said he was not even a fan of the Rose of Tralee but had been looking forward to the excitement of a live draw.
Ms McEvoy said the Lottery would use the players' feedback as research and would "certainly look at the format."