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Tuesday 26th September 2017
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Five Great Irish National Lottery Things to Come out of 2016

Last Updated: Friday 30th December 2016, 08:13 am

As Irish lottery fans look forward to the New Year and another chance to win great prizes on their favourite games, there will be a lot of other players sitting back at the end of 2016 and reflecting on the good fortune they have enjoyed. Here’s a reminder of a few of the best stories to come out of the past 12 months:

EuroMillions Winners

The year started on a high note for a group of friends who split a €132.3 million EuroMillions jackpot with a French ticket holder on Friday 29th January. Having become the fourth biggest EuroMillions winners from Ireland, the gang of mates admitted they were ‘dumbstruck’ and described the €66.1 million windfall as riches beyond their wildest dreams.

A syndicate of Dublin bus drivers later bagged a EuroMillions jackpot of €23.8 million on Friday 1st July. The 22 group members arrived at National Lottery headquarters by bus to claim their prize, but insisted they had no plans to give up work. In a big year for EuroMillions, a number of changes were made to the game in September to help top prizes grow more quickly and introduce more new elements such as the EuroMillionaires Raffle Draw and Ireland Only Raffle.

Big Lotto Jackpots

As well as the big EuroMillions winners, many players also had their lives transformed for the better thanks to Irish Lotto. The biggest jackpot of the year was given away back on 23rd January, when a family from Belmullet in Co Mayo snapped up €13.7 million. The second largest winners of the year were a Dublin couple who scooped €11.3 million on 3rd December, although they were adamant that the windfall would not change them too much and had no plans to give up work.

Daily Million Doubles Up

Daily Million fans have been able to play for €1 million twice a day since April following the launch of an extra draw. The game can now be played daily at 2pm and 9pm, and thousands of ticket holders have taken the opportunity to pick up the exciting cash prizes on offer. Daily Million Plus, with a top prize of €500,000, also doubled up at the same time.

Spring Cleaning, Handbags and Forgotten Tickets

Among the more unusual winners’ stories this year, there have been a number of players who have nearly missed out on their fortune and others who have been left to thank weird quirks of fate. One Dubliner found a ticket worth €500,000 whilst spring cleaning and admitted it was hard to believe that he had such a valuable item ‘rolled up into a ball on my floor for three weeks!’

A woman from Kilkenny also received the nicest surprise of her life in August when she found an Irish Lotto ticket worth €139,025 in a ‘bulging handbag’. She had been carrying it around for a fortnight without realising and could have easily thrown it away.

Forgetfulness can sometimes come in handy, though, as one woman from Westmeath showed back in February. Having bought a ticket for an upcoming EuroMillions draw, she then failed to remember a couple of days later that she had already entered the game and so made another purchase. She played the same numbers on both occasions, and was thrilled to discover that she had won two prizes of €21,449.

Christmas Millionaire Raffle

The year will conclude with the annual Christmas Millionaire Raffle, with 3,176 prizes guaranteed to be won and one lucky player set to bag €1 million. The big winner from the 2015 game was a woman who revealed that the ticket had been bought for her as a Christmas present by her brother.

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