An unprecedented series of draws with no jackpot win saw a request for regulatory changes to introduce a “must-win” rule, The Irish Times reported. The request was put on hold, though.
Request for Rule Change Placed on Hold
Premier Lotteries Ireland, the operator of the National Lottery in the country, filed a request with the Office of the Lottery Regulator following the streak of over 50 draws without awarding the jackpot. The operator proposed that in cases no player matched all six numbers, the jackpot be split between those who have guessed five numbers or five numbers plus the bonus number.
The news of the proposal put forth was confirmed by regulator Carol Boate, who stated to the media that the request was put on hold, pending further information, tests and assurances. Boate claimed any changes should be in the “interest of players, ensuring the National Lottery is run with all due proprietary and, subject to these, that good causes are maximized.”
The jackpot has not been won since June 9, making it now 62 rollovers and dwarfing the previous record of 22 unsuccessful draws but Boate said the streak, albeit new to the game, was not new to the history of lotteries. She outlined the lottery had so far earned approximately €46 million ($52 million) for good causes.
Lottery Losing Its Lure
The unprecedented streak of unsuccessful draws raised serious concerns that the public may lose its confidence in the “unwinnable” lottery unless the jackpot is won soon.
These concerns were first highlighted by Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan who questioned whether people would continue for long to buy lottery tickets if the jackpot is out of reach and urged for actions to restore the public confidence in the lottery operator.
In addition, Taoiseach Micheál Martin signaled there was support for a review into the lottery which capped its prize at €19 million ($21.5 million) but has failed to award a winner for a full six months.
The National Lottery increased the number of balls from the initial 36 in 1988, to 47 that are in play currently, decreasing the winning combination chance to 1: 10,737,573.
Following the decision from the regulator to request further information to support the request, the Lotto game will continue as normal on the National Lottery website.