Lotto fever in full swing as jackpot soars to a cool €15m
CASH-STRAPPED workers tired of the economic doom and gloom will be rushing to pick up their Lotto ticket today with tonight's jackpot approaching a cool €15m.
The life-changing jackpot has been rolling since March 10 and this draw will be the ninth since it began.
The bumper pot includes €4m from the unclaimed prize fund, which holds on to money that was never picked up by winners.
More than €2m from this fund was added into the jackpot on St Patrick's Day, and the additional €2m was added on Easter Saturday.
"There is huge excitement about this jackpot," said Lotto spokeswoman Paula McEvoy yesterday. "It has gained more momentum because it has been rolling for so long.
"When the jackpot hits heights like this, more people decide to play. And those who normally play a set of numbers usually also play a quick pick to help them win."
Ms McEvoy is looking forward to a queue of punters all eager to nab the prize.
"Around 60pc of people play on the day of the draw, with the peak selling time between 4pm and a quarter to eight," she added. "We estimate that around 85,000 plays per hour will go through the terminals and that is why we are urging people to play early."
The largest Lotto jackpot of this year before this record roll was €7.4m. It was won on January 16 by Michelle Ryan, from Athlone, Co Westmeath.
Bookmaker Paddy Power yesterday insisted the odds of winning a rollover were about "as slim as Elvis Presley coming back from the dead to ride the winner of this year's Aintree Grand National". It said it was more likely, at 500,000/1, for somebody to be hit with a bolt of lightning than become the next Irish multi-millionaire.
However, the bookmaker said while the odds are stacked against players, it has odds on at 1/2 that the jackpot will be won this Saturday. It has odds of 2/1 that the prize money will roll over again to Wednesday
"As last year's Grand National winner and 100/1 shot 'Mon Momme' proved, miracles can and do happen," said a spokeswoman.