Players and Retailers Brace for Irish Lotto Changes
Last Updated: Tuesday 25th August 2015, 09:07 am
New rules for Irish Lotto will come into effect next week, expanding the ball pool, introducing new prize tiers and increasing the cost of tickets. The changes will see a new prize tier created for matching two main numbers and the Bonus Ball, while players who match five main numbers and the Bonus Ball will win €100,000 instead of the usual €25,000. However, the game matrix will increase to 47 numbers, while the odds of winning the jackpot will increase to 1 in 10.7 million and players will pay €4 instead of €3 for a minimum of two lines.
The tradeoff is that the game is expected by officials to create bigger jackpots and more excitement about the game. Players and retailers alike are preparing for the new version of Ireland’s flagship lottery game, but not everyone is happy about the upcoming Irish Lotto changes.
Some players have balked at the new rules, with Carol Loran, who split a €10.5 million jackpot with her then-partner Kevin Geoghegan in May 2013, telling the Irish Mirror that “It’s hard enough to win as it is, never mind making it even more difficult so I actually feel sorry for people playing now...it might just put people off playing altogether.”
However, retailers in Limerick weighed in on the situation this past week in the Limerick Leader, saying that physical ticket sales might drop until jackpots increase, after which they could see a flurry of customers coming in to buy lines as they are lured in by the thought of potentially winning eight-figure windfalls. “A lot of people are saying that they are going to pull back from the Lotto, that they won’t spend as much money,” said Shane Gleeson, owner of a Spar shop in the town. “But that is not my experience in reality. What I have seen is whenever there is a big rollover, the sales of the Lotto go mad - they can double easily.”
Vincent Jennings, head of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association, feels confident that the changes won’t have a long-term impact on Irish Lotto ticket sales. “If you thought you had an 8.5 million to one chance of winning something, and this then becomes a ten million chance, is that really going to put anybody off?” he said.
There are now just three draws left under the current rules, with the last game before the set Irish Lotto changes take place set be to held on Wednesday 2nd September. Tomorrow night’s draw will offer a rollover jackpot worth €4 million, with tickets available online or from authorised retailers throughout the Republic. Good luck and have fun!