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Sunday 19 November 2017

Revealed: The big Lotto decrease - how extra numbers have affected your chances of winning


Greg Harkin

The chances of scooping the main Lotto jackpot prize has decreased since changes were introduced last year.

Two extra numbers were added to the National Lottery draw and the jackpot is now won just once a month.

However, the National Lottery has defended the changes, saying the fewer winners do get bigger prizes. Statistics released to the Irish Independent show the number of winners over a set period decreased by more than 30pc.

Operator Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) introduced a 50c per line price hike - and 47 numbers instead of 45 - last September.

It means an eight million to one chance of scooping the jackpot increased to odds of 10.7 million to one.

"In the eight months before the changes, January to August 2015, the Lotto jackpot was won 11 times," said PLI.

"In the corresponding period this year, January to August 2016, the jackpot was won seven times."

But the spokeswoman insisted: "The 2016 jackpot wins amounted to a total of €55,142,686 in prize money, compared with €50,396,690 for the 2015 jackpots over the same eight-month period.

"The average jackpot since the game change is €6.4m, which is 33pc higher than winners before the game changes.

"The new games and increased jackpot rollovers have generated huge player interest.

"Since making the changes to the flagship Lotto game in September 2015, National Lottery sales are up by more than 10pc, allowing the National Lottery to raise invaluable funds for good causes."

Lotto game changes, she said, were designed to make it more exciting for players, offering bigger and more attractive jackpots with more rollover and record jackpots.

The changes have also meant that you have a one-in-28 chance of winning some sort of prize, compared with a one-in-42 chance under the previous system. Average prizes for matching five numbers and the bonus number have also increased from a total of €25,000 to €100,000.

Last Saturday evening's draw follows a number of rollovers, with the top prize expected to be more than €10m.

Irish Independent

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