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Irish Lotto History

Irish Lotto has been offering great value games and creating big winners since 1988. Take a look at the fascinating history of the game:

Recent Events

In April 2018 the Irish Lotto celebrated 30 years of draws! It was revealed that, in this time, over €2.5 billion in jackpot prizes had been won. The top three luckiest counties were found to be Dublin, Cork and Galway. They had 837 top prize winners between them.

Previous Changes

Irish Lotto Timeline
16th Apr 1988

Irish Lotto was drawn for the first time, with players trying to match six numbers from a choice of 36.

30th May 1990

A Wednesday night draw was introduced.

30th May 1992

A Dublin syndicate, led by Stefan Klincewicz, attempted to buy up all possible Irish Lotto combinations in order to guarantee a jackpot win. Although they shared the jackpot with two other ticket holders, prizes won in the other tiers meant they made a profit of just over IR£300,000 before expenses.

22nd Aug 1992
  • The first draw with an increased ball pool of 39 was held.
  • The Bonus Ball was introduced, creating three more prize tiers.
24th Sep 1994
  • The ball pool was increased to 42.
  • Quick Picks were first used, allowing the lottery terminal to choose a random selection of numbers.
26th Sep 1998
  • The ticket price rose from IR£0.50 to IR£0.75.
  • The games starting jackpot was increased to IR£1 million, with other prize tiers also increasing in value.
28th Oct 2000

Lotto Plus was introduced, giving players' numbers from the main game a second chance to win a prize. Entry cost an additional IR£0.25 for each line, with a fixed jackpot of IR£250,000 available.

1st Jan 2002

The Euro was introduced, meaning that the price of a single ticket was €0.95 and the base jackpot was set at €1.269 million.

4th Sep 2002
  • The price of a single line rose slightly to €1 and the starting jackpot became €1.35 million.
  • Another Lotto Plus draw was added, with both games rebranded as Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2. The jackpots were set at €300,000 for Lotto Plus 1 and €200,000 for Lotto Plus 2.
  • Entry into the Lotto Plus games was set at €0.50.
4th Nov 2006
  • The ball pool expanded to 45.
  • The jackpot was guaranteed to be a minimum of €2 million.
  • The Match 5+1 prize rose from €12,000 to €25,000.
  • A Match 3 prize of €5 was introduced.
  • The ticket price was increased to €1.50 per line, with a minimum purchase of €3.
  • Lotto Plus 1's jackpot became €350,000 and the top prize for Lotto Plus 2 was boosted to €250,000.
28th Jun 2008

A group of 16 workers at a quarry in Co Carlow won €18.9 million, the biggest ever Irish Lotto jackpot.

4th Feb2015

The Wednesday night draw was postponed due to a technical fault that prevented players from buying tickets. The draw was eventually held the next night.

3rd Sept2015
  • The ball pool expanded from 45 to 47.
  • The price of tickets increased to €2 per line for a minimum purchase of €4.
  • The Match 5+1 prize changed from a fixed €25,000 to an estimated €100,000 in each draw.
  • A new prize tier was introduced for matching two main numbers and the Bonus Ball.
  • The top prize on Lotto Plus 1 increased from €350,000 to €500,000.
  • The Lotto Plus Raffle, with a prize of €300, was introduced.
30th Aug2018
  • The Match 2 + Bonus prize in the main Lotto game changed to two free Daily Million with Plus lines (worth €3).
  • The Lotto Plus 1 jackpot doubled to €1 million.
  • A new prize tier was added to Lotto Plus 1, offering two free Daily Million lines (worth €2) for matching two balls plus the Bonus.
  • Match 3 and Match 2 + Bonus tiers were added to Lotto Plus 2, awarding prizes of €3 and two free Daily Million lines (worth €2) respectively.
  • The prize in the Lotto Plus Raffle increased to €500.
  • A special Lotto Plus Million Euro Raffle was announced, set to take place at certain points throughout the year.
  • The cost of entering Lotto Plus increased to €1 per line.
  • Overall odds of winning in Lotto with Plus improved to 1 in 10.
15th Jan 2022
  • A Must Be Won draw took place, guaranteeing that a jackpot of €19.06 million would be paid out. The jackpot had been rolling over since June 2021.
  • One player matched all the numbers to win a record €19 million. The money would otherwise have rolled down to the players who matched five main numbers and the Bonus Ball.
  • A new rule was introduced so that a Must Be Won draw would be held in future whenever the jackpot has been at its cap for five draws.