The Irish Lottery produced two big winners during the Saturday draw, but alas, nobody won the €19 million Lotto jackpot, worth roughly $21.5 million. While 184,000 players cashed various awards, and two people ended up winning over $1 million, the cherished jackpot prize has reamined beyond reach for what is now 23 straight weeks.
So much that Fine Gael politician Bernard Durkan has asked the relevant authorities to audit and investigate the lottery and see if there is any reason why the jackpot has kept climbing up without a winner in sight. Durkan argues that people need to know that the jackpot is “winnable,” and no foul play is involved.
According to Durkan, there may be too many balls involved in the lottery draw, seemingly disrupting the frequency of the payout. The numbers have increased over the years. The lottery launched in 1988 with just 36 balls, but it has been scaled up to include 47 balls presently, making it much harder to win.
This favors the house, of course, but it also makes it much more difficult for ordinary folk to win, or even hope of winning, which is essentially what motivates them to play in the first time, and funds the public purse.
Jackpot Hopes a Little Dashed by Lack of Lucky Draw
The present jackpot figure is $21.5 million, which means that the Irish Lottery has reached its cap. By law, the lottery may not pay out more than that sum, and this is the first time the jackpot has been hit. In contrast, trans-Atlantic lotteries such as the Powerball or Mega Millions have no such qualms, and they can keep pushing the jackpot numbers as high as organic growth allows them to.
The biggest Powerball jackpot is $1.59 billion so, it’s still a far cry from the Irish Lottery cap. The issue Durkan brings is that the jackpot has not been won since September, making it one of the longest periods that the jackpot has remained unchallenged.
As such, Durkan wants to see what’s afoot. Statistically, some 1.4 million tickets are sold per draw, which takes place twice a week. This means that the jackpot should be dropping once every four or so draws, which has checked out over the years. Durkan has petitioned the lottery director, Andrew Algeo, to remove some of the numbers to boost participants’ chance of success.