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Irish Lotto History

With its great value supplementary games to the time a syndicate tried to buy up every possible combination of numbers, Irish Lotto has had a fascinating history. Have a look at the timeline to find out more.

Previous Changes to Irish Lotto

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 on Irish Lotto 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 Irish Lotto 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 Irish Lotto 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.