The Ireland National Lottery is the state run lottery of Ireland; it started from scratch cards in 1988. The Ireland National Lottery was started to support sports and recreation, health care, national heritage and arts. Since the lottery has started, over 3.4 billion Euros have been raised for these causes. The Irish love to play the lottery; a recent survey indicates that two-thirds of the Irish adults regularly play the Ireland National Lottery. The worldwide economic crunch has had its impact on the Ireland National Lottery and the per capita spending on lottery showed a decrease in 2008.
The Ireland National Lottery is administered by the An Post National Lottery Company, which is a subsidiary of Ireland’s semi-state postal service. The license to run the lottery is issued by the Ministry of Finance for a period of ten years. The current license expired in 2008 and was extended till December 31, 2011.
The initial Ireland National Lottery ran from 1988 till 1992. Six numbered balls were drawn from 36 balls in a lottery machine. Players could win a jackpot of £250,000 by matching all six numbers or smaller prizes for matching five or four numbers. If nobody won, the jackpot was rolled over to the next draw. The draws used to be held every Saturday night till 30 May 1990, when Ireland National Lottery introduced a mid week draw on Wednesdays. All the possible combinations could be purchased for £973,896, which left it vulnerable to an attack, which happened when the jackpot reached £1.7 million on the May 1992 bank holiday draw. A syndicate headed by Stefan Klincewicz managed to purchase £820,000 of tickets and although the lottery became aware of this attack and tried to limit and stop their sale, the syndicate hit the jackpot and the five and four number combination prizes. However, two other players also bought the winning jackpot numbers, and it was shared among the three winners. The total winnings of the syndicate were £1,166,000.
Ireland National Lottery witnessed a decline in sales till 2006, when they decided to change the rules. Due to the rapid increase in property prices and cost of living in Ireland, the 1.35 million Euros jackpot was not as luring as other higher jackpots like the EuroMillions. The rollovers were also limited, as the jackpot wins increased; it was in November 2006 that the game was changed to a 6/45 game and the jackpot was increased to a guaranteed two million Euros. The price of the ticket was also increased to 1.5 Euro per line. Although this increase in price came in for criticism, sales rose till 2008.
The Ireland National Lottery introduced other games like Lotto Plus 1, Lotto Plus 2 and Lotto 5-4-3-2-1. Players could win by matching 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 numbers in the Lotto 5-4-3-2-1 games. The Ireland National Lottery joined the EuroMillions in October 2004, and since then several jackpots have been won or shared in Ireland. The Ireland National lottery introduced the ‘Plus’ as an Ireland edition of the EuroMillions. In September 2008, they introduced the ‘Monday Million’, which is a 6/39 weekly lottery with a fixed jackpot of a million Euros. In 2010, the ‘Monday Million Plus’ was launched, which cost an extra 0.50 Euro per line, and the top prize is 550,000 Euros. In 2009, the Ireland National Lottery introduced the daily drawn game ‘All or Nothing’, in which the players were required to select twelve numbers from twenty four numbers, and they stood to win 500,000 Euros if they get all the numbers right or none of the numbers. The Ireland National Lottery introduced the ‘Millionaire Raffle’ in 2008, and each ticket cost Euros 20. There were two top prizes of one million Euros each, five prizes of 100,000 Euros, 45 prizes of 10,000 Euros, 80 prizes of five thousand Euros, hundred prizes of a thousand Euros each and three hundred prizes of five hundred Euros. In 1999, the Ireland National Lottery introduced ‘Telly Bingo’, which is telecast as a lunch time show. Players buy tickets with 24 randomly generated numbers, and the full house prize is ten thousand Euros.
Now, players can play Lotto from the Ireland National Lottery online and do not have to go to buy tickets from retailers. Tickets can be purchased directly from the TheLotter.com online lottery website. The facility to play Ireland national lottery online has seen a rapid increase in the sales of tickets, and a players can select the games they want to play from the online lottery websites.