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Irish Lotto Frequently Asked Questions

The Irish National Lottery was established in 1987, focussing firstly on scratchcards, with the first Lotto draw taking place the following year. The new lottery proved an instant hit and soon players in the North of Ireland and on the UK mainland began to take interest too, eventually making it one of the most popular lotteries in Europe.

Can I bet on the Irish lotto even if I am not an Irish resident?

Yes. Unusually for lotteries there is no requirement to be a resident of Ireland in order to participate in the Irish National Lottery. If you have access to the internet then you are also able to bet on the Irish Lotto results from anywhere within the United Kingdom with Lottoland.

What is the minimum Irish Lottery jackpot?

The guaranteed minimum jackpot of the Irish Lotto is €2 million (approx. £1.46 million).

What is the maximum Irish Lottery jackpot?

Currently the jackpot is capped at €18.9 (approx. £13.88) million – the record jackpot to date – as of the implementation of the September 2015 format change. As the aim of the format change was to increase jackpot sizes it's safe to assume that, once reached, this cap will be lifted shortly thereafter allowing for bigger jackpots than ever before.

What are the odds of winning the Irish Lottery?

You have a one in 29 chance of winning any prize with the Irish Lotto, or a one in 14 chance if you opt to bet on the Lotto Plus option as well. The jackpot odds are 10,737,573:1 – which may seem high but are in fact significantly smaller than most major lotteries and are more than four times more favourable than that of the UK Lotto. For more detailed information please see our Irish Lotto Odds & Statistics page.

What is the smallest Irish Lottery prize?

The smallest prize is €3 (approx. £2.20) for matching two numbers plus the Bonus ball.

Will I be taxed on my winnings?

No. With the Irish Lottery you will receive the cash in one single lump sum, whether you scoop the smallest prize or the jackpot, and it is tax free to UK and Irish residents.

How many people take part in the Irish Lottery?

It is estimated that two million people enter the Irish Lotto in Ireland each week. However, many more choose to bet on the outcome through Lottoland.

Where and when are the Irish Lottery draws held?

The Irish Lotto draw takes place twice a week, at 19:57 every Wednesday and Saturday night. The draw is televised on RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcaster.

Tickets must be purchased prior to the 19:45 cut-off time.

What Is the Biggest Irish Lottery Jackpot Win of All Time?

The single biggest Irish Lottery prize was won by a lotto syndicate formed of 16 work colleagues who each shared a €18.963,441 million (approx. £13.88 million) jackpot back in 2008.

What is the difference between the Irish national lottery and the up national lottery?

As of late 2014 the Irish Government sold off the Irish National Lottery franchise on a 20 year lease to PLI, a new company comprised of An Post, the Irish postal service and previous operators of the lottery, and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, who own UK Lottery operators Camelot.

A set of recent changes have been implemented to harmonise both lotteries though it should be noted that both operate completely independently and there are several notable differences between the two, in terms of format, prize divisions and rules.

In the case of the Irish Lotto, the lottery offers far better jackpot odds, as it is a 6/47 format lottery, compared with the 6/59 UK Lotto format implemented in October 2015.

How Long Do I Have to Collect the Winnings If I Am a Winner?

You have 90 days from the draw to claim your prize otherwise it will be donated to charities and other good causes. Hundreds of winners each year fail to claim their prizes, which is one of the many reasons why we recommend you bet online.

How old you need to be to enter the Irish Lottery?

You must be 18 years of age to bet on the lotto or claim a prize in the Irish Lotto. The same applies when participating from the UK, by betting on the results.

What Happens If There Is More than One Jackpot Winner?

In this instance the prize is divided equally amongst the winners.

Why Should I Bet on the Irish Lotto?

In terms of overall value the Irish Lotto is hard to beat. It has enjoyed a long-standing reputation for being one of the most generous and lucrative lotteries in Europe, thus making it immensely popular on both sides of the Irish Sea.

The latest format change has resulted in higher jackpot potential without raising the jackpot odds too dramatically. It therefore still offers some of the best jackpot winning odds in Europe, but with higher jackpot values, for a highly competitive price.

In terms of jackpots you're over four times more likely to strike it rich on the Irish Lotto compared with the UK National Lottery and just under 11 times more likely to do so compared with EuroMillions. 

Add in another seven prize tiers, as well as the Lotto Plus 1 and 2 bonus games, and you've got lots of other great opportunities to win – with odds of 14:1 of winning any prize!