About Irish Lotto

Irish Lottery History

The history of the Irish Lotto is a long one with the first lotto draw taking place in 1988. The format back then wasn’t the same as it is today, with players choosing 6 out of 36 numbers and a chance to win one of three prizes: the jackpot (of minimum 250.000 pounds guaranteed), or matching four or five numbers. The draw was held only on Saturdays until 30 May 1990, when the Wednesday draw was also introduced.

In August of 1992, Irish Lottery has changed to a 6/39 draw, raising the odds of winning from a previous 1 in 1,947,792 to 1 in 3,262,623. But that wasn’t the only change: to compensate for larger odds, Lottery introduced a “bonus number” and increased the basic jackpot. Also, additional to the previous match-6, match-5 and match-4, players could now also win a match-5 plus bonus, match-4 plus bonus and match-3 plus bonus in prizes.

Irish Lottery history changed In 1994, with the game becoming a 6/42 draw with the odds raising to 1 in 5,245,786. This was a response to the neighbourly British National Lottery which was a 6/49 game at the time, and therefore had bigger rollover jackpots. At the same time the computer-generated quick picks were also introduced.

irish-lotto - Map of Ireland

In 1998, the starting jackpot was raised to 1 million pounds, and when the Euro came in 2002, the new price for a ticket was €1 and the starting jackpot changed to 1.35 million Euros. Since that was no longer a particularly appealing amount to the Irish at the time, in November 2006, the game was changed to a 6/45 to create bigger jackpots. The starting jackpot was raised to €2 million, and that’s where it stands today. The smaller prizes were also increased at that point with the match-3 prize introduced. The official price of a ticket also increased to €1.50.

Today, the odds of winning the Irish Lottery jackpot stand at 1 in 10.7 million, and the price of one line is €2, but the minimum entry is two lines. There are eight tiers of prizes in total, but people can also participate in three additional games called Plus One, Plus Two and Plus Ruffle, buy paying 1 Euro extra per line. There are completely different sets of numbers drawn for plus games, so they are basically giving you the opportunity to participate in three additional games with just one entry.

By the end of 2013 Irish lottery had paid out more than €6.7 billion in prizes, and the biggest jackpot ever drawn was €18,963.441 won in June 2008.

Irish Lotto Odds


5 balls + bonus

5 balls

4 balls + bonus

4 balls

3 balls + bonus

3 balls

2 balls + bonus

Winning Odds