The Irish love to play lotteries. They are a gambling nation, the home of horse racing, Paddy Power and the Irish Lottery. It’s part of the culture and the reason why a significant percentage of the population chip-in to play lotteries from the UK Lotto to the EuroMillions and more.
But what is Ireland’s favourite lotto? Which ones do players from Ireland play the most, which ones do they win the most and which lottery stands head and shoulders above all others?
We have checked the stats and we found some rather interesting additions and exclusions. To see what we discovered and learn what Ireland’s favourite lotto is, keep reading.
Unsurprisingly the Irish Lotto leads the way in Ireland. This is the national lottery of Ireland, one that most of you will have grown up playing and one that has also proved popular throughout the United Kingdom and large parts of Europe.
The first Irish Lotto draw took place on the 23rd of March 1987, following a law enacted in 1986 that allowed for its creation. The Irish Lotto is used to promote good causes in Ireland, and there are a number of causes that qualify for funding, including sports, health, heritage, arts, and anything that promotes the Irish language.
The lottery has reached approximately €15 billion in sales since it was founded, around half of which has been paid out in prize money, with the rest going to fund operations and to help good causes.
There are a few different games to play on the Irish Lotto, including Plus 1 and Plus 2 (not available at Multilotto), which are separate draws and cost €0.50 per line, and 5-4-3-2-1, which lets players choose how many numbers they want to select and match.
The highest ever amount won on the Irish Lotto was €18.9 million, the odds for the biggest prizes are as follows:
- Jackpot = 1 in 10,737,573
- Second Prize = 1 in 1,789,596
- Third Prize = 1 in 44,740
- Fourth Prize = 1 in 17,896
The Irish Lotto costs €2 per line, but you need to play at least 2 lines, which means the minimum price of an Irish Lotto ticket is €4.
The EuroMillions is the biggest pan-European lottery. It is officially available in 9 European countries, including Ireland, but it can be played in many others through the MultiLotto platform.
Ireland joined the official register of EuroMillions countries in October 2004, just 8 months after the lottery was founded. The lottery proved very popular very early on, and after generating €145 million in sales in 2006, the EuroMillions Plus was launched.
This is a bonus game (not available at Multilotto) that is only available in Ireland and was first made available in the summer of 2007. It offers player the chance to enter an additional prize draw that has a top prize of €500,000 and costs an extra €1 per line on top of the €2.50 ticket price.
The EuroMillions has a maximum jackpot of €190 million and it has reached this several times. The highest amount paid out to an Irish player was €66 million after they shared a €132 million ticket with a French player.
The odds of winning the grand prize on the EuroMillions are substantially higher than the National Lotto, but the prizes are much bigger too. The odds of winning any prize are 1 in 13, while the odds for major prizes are as follows:
- Jackpot = 1 in 139,838,160
- Second Prize = 1 in 6,991,908
- Third Prize = 1 in 3,107,515
- Fourth Prize = 1 in 621,503
The Eurojackpot was launched in 2012 and has since become a decent alternative to the EuroMillions. It is not officially available in Ireland, but as is the case with most lotteries there are no restrictions on nationality. If you are of legal age and can get your hands on a ticket, then you can play, with a large number of Irish players choosing to do do through MultiLotto.
The Eurojackpot costs €2 per line. It has a minimum jackpot of €10 million, which means it can not go below this amount, and a maximum jackpot of €90 million, which means it can not go above this amount. It has reached its maximum on several occasions, at which point it has been collected by players from Germany, Finland and the Czech Republic.
Germans are the most successful when it comes to playing the Eurojackpot and these are closely followed by players from Finland. In fact, at the time of writing the list of the 30 biggest Eurojackpot winners contains just 6 players not from these two countries.
Eurojackpot odds have increased over the years. Initially, the jackpot returned odds of 1 in 59 million, but after the amount of bonus numbers was changed from 8 to 10, those odds grew to 1 in 95 million. It still offers favourable odds when compared to many other lotteries though and that’s why so many Irish players choose to buy Eurojackpot tickets every week.
- Jackpot = 1 in 95,344,200
- Second Prize = 1 in 5,959,013
- Third Prize = 1 in 3,405,150
- Fourth Prize = 1 in 423,752
Powerball is a US lottery often said to be the biggest lottery in the world. It is the current record holder for the largest lottery win, at more than $1.5 billion, and it regularly pays out hundreds of millions of dollars to single ticket holders.
The odds of winning the jackpot on this lottery are 1 in 292 million. These high odds ensure that jackpot wins are rare, which in turn means that there is a high chance of the lottery rolling over during the two weekly draws.
One of the important things to remember about Powerball is that the advertised jackpot is only paid out as an annuity, which means you will receive it in 30 annual instalments; if you choose the cash lump sum option then you will be paid less, usually by around 40%. But when you consider that the minimum jackpot is $40 million and that it typically climbs much higher than that, the cash lump sum is still a considerable amount of money.
Powerball tickets cost $2 and there is also something known as the Power Play, which costs more and allows you to boost all non-jackpot prizes.
- Jackpot = 1 in 292,201,338
- Second Prize = 1 in 11,688,053
- Third Prize = 1 in 913,129
- Fourth Prize = 1 in 36,525
You can play the Powerball anywhere in the world, including here in Ireland. Just get yourself an account on MultiLotto and you’re good to go.
5. Mega Millions
The Mega Millions is similar to the Powerball in many ways. Both of these lotteries are based in the United States, both of them have annuities and cash lump sums, and both exceed $100 million jackpots on a regular basis.
The Mega Millions used to be known as The Big Game and has recorded some of the biggest lottery jackpot wins ever thanks to its minimum jackpot of $40 million and its high odds. In fact, the odds of the Mega Millions have increased in recent years from around 1 in 258 million to 1 in 302 million, which means it could catch-up to the Powerball in terms of record breaking jackpots.
The current odds for the Mega Millions (active as of November 2017) are as follows:
- Jackpot = 1 in 302,575,350
- Second Prize = 1 in 12,607,306
- Third Prize = 1 in 931,001
- Fourth Prize = 1 in 38,792
Mega Millions, like Powerball, also offers a multiplier game known as the Megaplier (not available at Multilotto), providing players with the chance to boost lower-tier prizes between 2x and 5x. A ticket for a standard line costs $2, with the Megaplier costing $1 extra. Some players can also opt for a Just the Jackpot game, whereby they pay $3 for two lines but can only win the jackpot.
The SuperEnalotto is an Italian lottery that offers big jackpots and equally big odds and was created in 1997. It was founded as an enhanced version of the Enalotto, which had been running since the 1950s.
The SuperEnalotto requires players to choose a total of 6 numbers from a possible 90. There is also a bonus ball known as the “Jolly” and an optional number known as the SuperStar that adds several additional prize tiers to the pool.
The largest jackpot ever won on the SuperEnalotto was €177.7 and was won by a syndicate of 70 players following 8 long months of rollovers and media hype. The biggest single ticket holder win occurred in 2016 when a player won €163.5 all to themselves.
The odds for the SuperEnalotto are much greater than other lotteries discussed on this page, but it costs just €1 (€1.50 if you add the SuperStar) to play and offers some big jackpots.
- Jackpot = 1 in 622,614,630
- Second Prize = 1 in 103,769,105
- Third Prize = 1 in 1,250,230
- Fourth Prize = 1 in 11,907
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