Why is the Irish Lotto so Popular?

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Ever wondered why the Irish Lottery is so popular?

Well, mostly it's because it's better value than the UK Lotto, with two lines costing €3, and gives you a 42% higher chance of winning the main prize, which is always worth in excess of €2 million. You can also play the Irish Lotto from anywhere in the UK.

Basically, why wouldn't you play the Irish Lotto instead of the UK Lotto?


The Irish Lottery was launched in 1988, when it replaced the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes. It has grown strongly in reputation and popularity since, largely because of the better value it provides compared with other lotteries.

The Irish Lotto takes place every Wednesday and Saturday and uses just 45 balls (four less than the UK Lotto) – hence why your chances of winning are so much higher. In June 2008, 16 rollovers saw the Irish Lotto jackpot reach an incredible €18,963,441. A syndicate of 16 work colleagues from a quarry in Bennekerry won the prize, with each person taking home a life changing amount of over €1.1 million each.

Irish Lotto Odds & Prizes

If you play the lottery conventionally (i.e. with a ticket), you can win in seven different ways, as you can see in the table below.

Matching three numbers will guarantee you a €5 prize, matching five and the bonus ball will land you €25,000, while all six numbers will see you take the jackpot. However, the rest of prizes are dependent on the number of players each week and can therefore vary.



Odds of Winning

Estimated Prize Fund

6 Numbers


1 in 8,145,060


5 Numbers + Bonus Ball


1 in 1,357,510


5 Numbers


1 in 35,724


4 Numbers + Bonus Ball


1 in 14,290


4 Numbers


1 in 772


3 Numbers + Bonus Ball


1 in 579


3 Numbers


1 in 48


Betting on the Irish Lotto

You can also bet on the Irish Lotto at various leading online bookmakers. All of whom offer fixed odds – so you know exactly how much you'll win. By doing this, you can also vary how much you want to bet (stakes usually start at 10p), and also the number of balls you want to bet on.

So, for example, if you have an inkling that number 7 will be appearing in the next draw, you can bet on just that number at odds of 6/1. If you stake £10 on that, you will get back £70 if it does so. By doing this, you can increase your chances of winning dramatically compared to buying a ticket.

In Summary: Irish Lotto

  • Guaranteed jackpot in excess of €2,000,000
  • Draws every Wednesday and Saturday
  • Can play from anywhere in the UK
  • Tax-free winnings
  • 42% higher chance of winning the jackpot that UK Lotto
Find the Best Irish Lotto Odds

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