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National Lottery

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Questions (226, 227)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

226. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has received correspondence from the National Lottery in connection with concerns expressed by the public in respect of the inordinate amount of time that the major prize has been carried over; if this is as a result of technical or other reasons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58172/21]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

227. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if concerns expressed by persons regarding the carryover of the top National Lottery prize for almost six-months warrants a review which might indicate if this is as a result of policy changes or technical issues such as hacking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58175/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 226 and 227 together.

While I have received correspondence from the Deputy which refers, I have not received correspondence from the National Lottery in relation to the capping of the Lotto jackpot at €19,060,800 on September 29th 2021, which will lead to the largest ever jackpot in the history of the game.

As Lotto is a game of chance, the number of times the jackpot rolls over will vary. I understand that the game is currently experiencing a particularly long roll but the opposite can also occur: the jackpot was won three Saturdays in a row earlier this year between late May and early June.

The unpredictable nature of the jackpot being won is illustrated by the jackpots won to date in 2021:

Date

Jackpot €

Draws since last Jackpot Win

Wednesday 27 January 2021

€8,530,884

16

Wednesday 14 April 2021

€12,740,043

22

Saturday 22 May 2021

€6,489,165

11

Saturday 29 May 2021

€2,469,871

2

Saturday 5 June 2021

€2,475,303

2

Saturday 20 November 2021

Not yet won

48 to date

As set out in the Lotto rules, which were set in September 2015 and are published on the National Lottery website, the amount of the jackpot will be capped once it exceeds the highest ever previous jackpot win, and the application of this cap will be for the benefit of prize winners at the highest prize tier for which there is a winner.

The National Lottery Regulator has informed me that once the jackpot cap level is reached the amount normally attributable to the jackpot, being 46.16% of the prize fund of 52% of sales, will be allocated to the next prize tier at which there is a winner. It is important to note that the benefit of the flow down to lower prize tiers is limited to the highest prize tier at which there is a winner.

The Regulator has confirmed that 180 players have won increased prize amounts in the 15 draws subsequent to the new jackpot cap being applied.

The Regulator has also informed me that strict protocols in place to ensure that rigorous testing of equipment takes place before each and every Lotto draw and that each step of the draw process is strictly adhered to. Every Lotto draw is overseen by an independent auditor (KPMG).

Changes to these protocols, to the Lotto game or any National Lottery game, require significant research, technical development and testing. The National Lottery Operator must request and obtain the approval of the Regulator of the National Lottery for any new or amended Lottery games.

The Regulator of the National Lottery is an independent office established by the National Lottery Act 2013, solely to regulate the National Lottery. In assessing any requests from the Operator to change a National Lottery game, the Regulator considers the impact of proposed changes on players, on the long-term sustainability of the National Lottery, and on returns generated for Good Causes.

This is a detailed process. Above all, the Regulator seeks to ensure that the National Lottery is run with all due propriety.

Question No. 227 answered with Question No. 226.
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