Sunday 16 June 2019

More winners, more prizes: We asked the National Lottery what the latest changes mean for players

The National Lottery has become an Irish institution over the last 30 years, making a huge difference to its winners lives and helping out countless charitable causes.

The first Lotto millionaire was Rita Power from Ballinasloe, Co Galway, who won £1.2 million back in 1989. A lot of things have changed since the very first Lotto ticket was filled out back in March of 1988. The country has changed greatly in the last three decades, the prizes are now in Euro instead of Punts, and the Lotto has created an incredible 752 millionaires in that time.

We spoke to a National Lottery spokesperson to find out more about the latest evolution in the Lotto Plus game. The first question was obvious – what will the changes mean for customers?

“These exciting new game changes mean that Lotto with New Lotto Plus will be creating more winners – and more millionaires,” according to a National Lottery spokesperson. “The top prize in Lotto Plus 1 doubles from €500,000 to €1 million, while there are three more ways to win on our Lotto Plus game. 

“And the prize in the Lotto Plus Raffle jumps from €300 to €500. An average of 16 new millionaires are expected to be created each year across Lotto and Lotto Plus. The price for Lotto Plus will increase from 50c to €1 per panel played. There is no change in the price of a panel for the main Lotto Draw. We really believe these changes will be welcomed by our players.”

Having looked at various options when researching potential changes, this was the one that appealed most to Lotto customers. It’s been a long time since there was an increase in price on the Lotto Plus, but the additional opportunities are expected to keep players happy.

“While there may be some reaction to the price increase initially, our player research indicates that doubling the top prize from €500,000 to €1 million, plus the increased odds of winning, will prove attractive to our players,” the spokesperson notes.

“The last Lotto Plus price increase was 16 years ago in 2002. We believe that the added value for the price adjustment – including the doubling of the Lotto Plus 1 top prize and higher raffle prizes - will be compelling for consumers and therefore help generate additional Good Cause funding for beneficiaries all over Ireland.”

The new game changes mean that players now have a one in 10 chance of winning across Lotto and Lotto Plus. These odds used to be one in 17 so players now have a much greater chance of winning and even more chances to become a millionaire.

Approximately 92pc of players currently play Lotto Plus and the Lotto Plus Raffle also gives players  another opportunity to get lucky.

“Players who opt for Lotto Plus will have a number on their ticket which qualifies them for a special raffle draw, which sees the prize increase from €300 to €500.

“Certainly, these changes offer more prizes in Lotto and Lotto Plus than ever before. We are constantly looking for new ways to enhance and improve our games.

“The Lotto game has become considerably more exciting for our players over the last 30 years. Back then, the draw only had three prize categories and the base jackpot was set at £80,000, which is the equivalent to just over €100,000. With more ways to win with Lotto and Lotto Plus, we will have approximately 200,000 Lotto winners each and every week across both Wednesday and Saturday draws.”

Aside from creating more winners, the changes are also expected to benefit the “Good Causes” and fund even more charities and community causes throughout Ireland.

“We are always keen to remind our players that the National Lottery was established over 30 years ago with the express purpose of raising funds for Good Causes all over Ireland. Approximately 30c in every Euro spent on National Lottery games goes to supporting communities in the areas of sport, health, arts, culture, heritage, youth, community and the Irish language in communities right around the country.

“More than €5.3 billion has been raised to date. Last year alone, we raised €226 million for Good Causes, that’s about €620,000 a day. With increased sales from the new Lotto Plus game enhancements, we expect to raise an additional €5.5 million extra for Good Causes every year, but we hope to exceed this figure. So it’s a win win! We are offering more prizes for our players – and will raise more money for Good Causes.”

More Winners, More Millionaires… Play Lotto with New Lotto Plus today. Available in app, in store or at

Sponsored by: The Lotto

Online Editors

Most Read on Twitter