How High Can the Irish Lotto Jackpot Grow?
Last Updated: Wednesday 22nd September 2021, 10:29 am
The Irish Lotto jackpot has risen to €17 million over the course of the last three and a half months, climbing up the ranks of the largest-ever prizes. But how much higher can it go and what happens to the jackpot when it cannot go up any more?
Current Jackpot Cap
The jackpot cap is currently worth €18.96 million. This was set as the limit after the Dan Morrissey Syndicate from Co Carlow won a prize of that value in June 2008. They are the biggest winners in Irish Lotto history.
In the 13 years since the 16-strong syndicate won, the jackpot has never reached more than €16.7 million. However, it is now on the verge of hitting its historical high mark following a run of 30 rollovers.
The jackpot can carry on growing until it gets to €18.96 million, which may only be a couple of draws away if there are no winners as it usually accelerates faster the higher it goes. New rules would then have to take effect.
What Happens at 18.96 Million?
Once the jackpot has surpassed its current cap of €18.96 million, it is fixed at that value if there are still no winners. For example, if the top prize rises from €18.5 million to €19.5 million and nobody matches all the numbers, the jackpot will remain at €19.5 million for the following draw. This would then become the new jackpot cap and the top prize would stay at €19.5 million for as many draws as it takes for at least one ticket to match all the numbers.
If the jackpot cap has to come into force, the funds that would normally be added to the top prize are instead allocated to the next category down. The jackpot receives 46.16% of the prize fund in every draw, but in this scenario that money would go to the Match 5 + Bonus Ball tier. If there are no tickets that match five numbers and the Bonus Ball, the funds would go to the Match 5 category.
The value of prizes always depends on how many other players also win in the same category, but the jackpot cap makes it more likely that you will win a larger amount than usual if you win in the second or third tier.
You can take part online for the chance to win the big jackpot, or visit any authorised lottery retailer in Ireland.