irish lotto odds change

The Irish Lottery and odds of winning have changed - how does it affect me?


Note: This article is based solely on the opinions of ComparetheLotto.com. Please be aware that odds, offers and features are constantly subject to change and terms and conditions apply. Always check the operators sites for verification and full T&Cs.


We break it down to the Good, the Bad and the Amusing...

There is a new lottery operator in town running the Irish Lotto draw - their name is PLI (Premier Lotteries Ireland) and they've brought about some pretty big changes from September 3rd 2015. PLI are promoting these changes under the tagline of 'Bigger Better Draws'

We've cut through the spin and broken it down on how they might affect you if you're a ticket buyer or if you're someone who bets on the lottery. (If you haven't considered betting on the lottery before, you might want to now) What are the headline changes and how do they affect me?

Ticket Buyers:

The Good

You can win bigger prizes:

  1. There will be a bigger prize pool overall
  2. It is likely there will be more rollovers and therefore more jaw-dropping whopper jackpots (if it's a rollover more people buy tickets and the jackpots grows even more)

The Bad

  1. The cost of buying tickets has gone up, by 33% to €4 for the minimum two lines, from a previous price of €3 (hence why there will be a bigger prize pool in proportion to this).
  2. The other major change is two more numbers have been added. So they now draw 6 from 47 instead of 6 from 45. Although this sounds like a small change, it significantly reduces the chances of winning the jackpot from one in 8.1 million to one in 10.7 million

The Amusing

The Irish Times ran with the headline "Good news: chances of winning lotto higher than being attacked by a shark"... so there is always a positive to be taken.

Other Impact of Changes:

  1. If you win on a Match 5 plus bonus number, the average prize win will increase from €25,000 to €100,000 which is obviously positive
  2. However the more commonly won Match 5 and Match 4 prizes stay the same, despite longer odds and a higher stake - this definitely isn't good for players.
  3. You can now grab a prize for matching TWO numbers and the bonus number.
  4. There is a new way to win on Lotto Plus. A four-digit raffle number will be displayed on your ticket and if yours is picked, you can scoop €300.
  5. As the Odds to win the jackpot have decreased - there will be an estimated average of 14 jackpot winners per year. This is three less than the number statistically expected in the current game.
  6. PLI believes average jackpot wins will be larger at an estimated €6.3m jackpot under the new structure compared to the current €4.5m average

PLI are being a little sneaky in claiming that the overall odds of winning a prize have got better from a previous 42/1 to 29/1. If you consider the fact that everything has effectively got tougher and worse odds it doesn't make sense.

However this is why we believe they've introduced the €300 raffle draw and also the chance to win a €3 scratch card to soften the blow.

How have the odds of winning the Irish National Lottery changed over the years?

Timeline of Odds Changing

Year Chance of Winning
1988 (36 ball lottery) 1 in 1,947,792
1992 (39 ball lottery) 1 in 3,262,623
1994 (42 ball lottery) 1 in 5,245,786
2006 (45 ball lottery) 1 in 8,145,060
Sept 2015: (47 ball lottery) 1 in 10,737,573

So how can I improve my chances - should I bet on the lotto?

We've heard on the lotto betting grapevine that the changes to the Irish Lotto got all of the online bookmakers in a bit of a spin trying to decide what to do with their odds.

Would they try and keep the odds the same and make some more sneaky profit or do they change the odds to reflect the fact that it has become more difficult?

Well the good news is all of the operators included on our site have improved their odds however there are still substantial differences between the companies.

Here is just one example:

If you bet £1 on 3 numbers and your 3 are chosen:

  • With Coral, you'll win £600 (plus get your £1 stake back).
  • With Bet365 you'll win a lovely £700 (plus get your £1 stake back). That is an additional £100 in your pocket or 17% additional winnings!

If you bet £1 on 5 numbers and your 5 are chosen:

  • With Ladbrokes, you'll win £125,000... not bad but
  • With Betfred you'll win a whopping £150,000. That is a huge additional £25,000 that should be yours

If you have never bet on the lotto and want to know why you should consider a punt, you can read our reasons here.

Of course, you should remember that betting on the lotto won't contribute to good causes (we certainly don't rate bookmakers profits as a good cause!). However maybe you prefer to give to your own charity and have better value and a better chance of winning.

You can exclusively compare all the new Irish lotto betting odds on our site. Also don't forget you can get a juicy welcome offer when you register an account through a link on our site - that is something you'll never get when you buy a ticket.

Find The Best Irish Lotto Odds

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