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Urgent probe into unwinnable lotto required – Durkan

No jackpot winners in six months

19th November 2021 - Bernard Durkan TD

IT is time for an audit and investigation of the National Lottery draw as there has not been a winner of the top lotto jackpot in almost six months, a Fine Gael TD has said.


Deputy Bernard Durkan was speaking after the biweekly lotto draw was rolled over on 46 separate occasions since it was last won on June 6th.


“It’s been almost six months since it was won. This didn’t happen in Ronan Collins’ day. The jackpot has been stuck on €19m since September. What’s going on?


“We need a full investigation and audit into the draw.


“I have never agreed with Premier Lotteries Ireland’s decision to increase the number of balls to 47. I’m old enough to remember 1986 when there were 36 balls and that’s how it should have stayed.”


Premier Lotteries Ireland DAC (PLI) is the operator of the Irish National Lottery after receiving a 20-year licence in November 2014. The National Lottery began in Ireland in 1988 with six winning numbers needed from 36 balls to secure the jackpot.


“I call on the Chief Executive of Premier Lotteries Ireland, Andrew Algeo, to drop a couple of balls as a mark of good faith and make the draw more winnable. In 1988, there was 36 balls, 39 in 1992, 42 in 1994, 45 in 2006 before reaching a hefty 47 in 2015.


“Mr Algeo, tear down those balls,” Deputy Durkan said.


Deputy Durkan, who is on both the Oireachtas Finance and Public Expenditure committees added, “In the interests of public confidence, I also want a full audit into why there has been no winner and a return of the independent observer from KPMG Stokes Kennedy Crowley, who used to stand beside the machine, keeping an eye on things.


“I’m not saying anything odd has happened, but it’s the longest run in the history of the game so we need a bit of reassurance.


“I’ll also be writing to Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath, whose department oversees this, to express my concern here and to get his views on the matter. As part of the terms of the National Lottery licence, almost 30c from every €1 spent on National Lottery games is returned to the Exchequer to be utilised by Good Cause projects.


“Currently ahead of tomorrow night’s lotto draw, the prospect of winning is so remote that punters must be thinking Shergar would have a better chance at winning Squid Game,” Deputy Durkan said.

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