Lotto operators seeking approval for "must-be-won draw" following six months without jackpot win 11 months ago

Lotto operators seeking approval for "must-be-won draw" following six months without jackpot win

The move would be to provide certainty to Lotto players.

National Lottery operators are seeking regulatory approval for a "must-be-won draw" after half a year in which no one has won its €19 million jackpot, according to reports.

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The twice-weekly Lotto draw's jackpot has not been won since the first week of June.

In November, 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.

On Wednesday, representatives of both Premier Lotteries and the regulator of the National Lottery will appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee.

Ahead of the discussion, The Irish Independent reports that Premier Lotteries Ireland chief executive Andrew Algeo said in a statement provided to the committee that the company wants to introduce "a must-be-won draw"

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This would be to make sure "an improbably long wait for a capped jackpot win" cannot happen again.

"That would also allow us to provide certainty to Lotto players, as to the latest date on which this record €19m jackpot will be won by," he stated.

According to the Independent, Algeo also said it is "highly unusual" that the Lotto jackpot still has no winner after six months, stating that the chances are similar to rolling a die 37 times without the number "6" arising.

However, he added that it was also "somewhat unusual" that the Lotto had jackpot winners on three consecutive Saturdays prior to the long roll.

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"Variation in jackpot roll lengths occur because each lottery draw is a pure game of chance without memory,” he added.

Algeo stated that it is in his company's interest that winning a Lotto jackpot is considered "both aspirational and possible" and that this requires the jackpots to be "large enough and won frequently enough".

The National Lottery regulator will also appear at the Wednesday meeting and tell the committee that the game is operating in line with the rules and that there are no regulatory issues.

Last week, Durkan said he intended to present a series of questions to Lotto representatives at the meeting, including:

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  • 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?