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Here’s why your mam keeps telling you to do the Lotto this weekend


By Sarah Finnan
14th Jan 2022
Here’s why your mam keeps telling you to do the Lotto this weekend

The record-breaking €19.06 million Lotto jackpot must be won this weekend. 

There are few other nations as superstitious as the Irish. We’re a people brought up on fairy stories and old wives tales, but none so great as those pertaining to the Lotto. The only other country that would give us a run for our money (literally) is Spain, whose obsession with the Christmas Lotto, or ‘El Gordo’, borders on frenzied at times. 

There’s an illogical appeal to doing the Lotto. Rationally speaking, we know we won’t win… but what if we did? According to Lotto.ie, the odds of scooping the jackpot come in at 10.7 million to one while the odds of winning any prize on Lotto are one in 29. It’s not often we fancy our chances, but we’re ever hopeful where the Lotto is concerned which is why our relatives have been “doing the weekly numbers” since the dawn of time. It could be you, as the catchphrase goes. 

Back in 2019, The Irish Times reported that Irish people spend over €800million a year on the National Lottery. That was pre-pandemic so the figure may have changed slightly, but the ever-growing hype surrounding this weekend’s draw would suggest otherwise. So, what’s the story and why does your mam keep telling you to buy a ticket?

Well, this weekend it very well could be you as the National Lottery has confirmed that this weekend’s draw is a guaranteed “will be won” event and one or more Lotto players will win the jackpot… which currently stands at a record-breaking €19,060,800 million and is Ireland’s biggest Lotto jackpot ever.  If the full value is not won outright on Saturday night, then the full value will flow down to the winner (or winners) of the next winning prize tier. 

“The current Lotto jackpot has been rolling since Wednesday 9th June 2021 and has remained capped at €19.06 million since Saturday 2nd October,” a Lotto spokesperson explained. “Since then, Lotto players have benefitted from additional prizes worth approximately €23.9 million as prize funds have been boosted at the Match 5 + Bonus and Match 5 tiers.

“Many of our Lotto players want to see this amazing jackpot won and we are delighted to be able to make this happen,” the spokesperson continued, later adding that they are asking all those wishing to partake to “play early in-store or online before 7.45 pm on Saturday”. 

The odds of matching six numbers and winning a “must-win” jackpot are “remote” though, as Brian Nolan, an Associate Professor in the School of Mathematics at Dublin City University, told The Independent. “It’s about 10.7 million to one odds that an individual goes into a shop and the line of Lotto they purchase matches six numbers and lands the jackpot,” he continued. “Fundamentally those odds do not change, no matter how many people play the Lotto.”

It’s more likely that someone will match five numbers and the bonus, in which case the top prize will filter down to this tier. In fact, my own mother felt it was so necessary that I do it, that she drove over to my house to personally put the money in my hand. “Buy a ticket before Saturday,” she told me earnestly before finishing her tea and heading off to finish her jobs in town. 

Go n-éirí an t-ádh libh and may the odds be ever in your favour…

Header image via Unsplash