Lotto set for Oireachtas Committee hearing after jackpot rolls over yet again
"The time has come for some pertinent questions."
The sky is blue.
Water is wet.
The Irish National Lottery jackpot wasn't won again this week.
Wednesday night's draw once more resulted in no victor as far as the €19,060,800 jackpot is concerned.
It has now been over six months since the Lotto's top prize has been claimed.
Last month, Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan called for an official probe into the matter, taking issue with the exact methodology involved in deciding the outcome of the draw, desiring a simpler time when there weren't as many balls in the mix.
Durkan's commitment to the bit led to Taoiseach Micheál Martin backing the idea, at least to some degree.
"I think it should be, could be, taken up by the Committee on Finance," the Taoiseach said in the Dáil in November.
"I think you should invite in the regulator which governs the licensing of the Lotto."
"We all have high estimations of ourselves but my capacity to produce a winner in the lottery Deputy Durkan, I'll have to concede – I don't think it's within my grasp right now," he added.
Unfazed, Durkan has once more sounded the alarm. In a statement released on Thursday, the TD noted that an Oireachtas Committee will hear from the National Lottery and the Office of the Regulator at Leinster House next week.
Durkan intends to present a series of questions, including:
- Is the National Lottery technology used in other systems and how old is it?
- How often is the technology examined and upgraded?
- To what extent is the National Lottery protected from attack/hacking by outside forces?
- Was research carried out or was it anticipated there would be a long carry over period with no jackpot winners when the extra balls were added to the draw?
- If so, was that factored into the decision?
- Balls have been added, how feasible is it for them to be removed in order to increase people’s chances of winning?
- Would the Regulator approve this decision?
Commenting further on the matter, Durkan compiled a list of pop culture happenings that have occurred within the timeframe of the jackpot remaining in place.
"The time has come for some pertinent questions," he said.
"A lot can happen in six months. Dublin footballers’ unbeaten run came to an end, a summer heatwave came and went, Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, Omicron replaced Delta, Barbados became a republic and Wally the Walrus visited our shores and left – without winning the Lotto jackpot like the rest of us.
“I see in recent weeks the Lotto has begun taking out a series of advertisements across media and social media to show how the money is spread about. They’d be better off spending this outlay examining their own systems," he concluded.