The excitement surrounding the three-month lottery rollover at the end of 2021 brought in around 180 million euros in revenue for the national lottery last year, new figures show.
The record-breaking jackpot of more than €19 million boosted sales from September to December as the top prize went unclaimed week after week.
Increased interest due to the size of the prize being offered for so long helped lift total lottery sales above the €1 billion mark for the first time.
“Not since the lottery began in 1988 has we seen so much excitement and media attention for one of Ireland’s most popular games,” said Andrew Algeo, chief executive of the National Lottery. “2021 will be known as the year when the Lotto jackpot rolled to an all-time high of €19.06 million, breaking all previous Lotto records after hitting the jackpot cap at the end of September.”
The twice-weekly lottery draw accounts for a significant portion of revenue from draw-based games and has had a noticeable impact on the national lottery’s financial performance, a spokesman said.
“The revenue generated during the rollover period and the resulting prize money, dealer commissions and charitable funding” is “extraordinary” compared to other periods,” the spokesperson said.
The National Lottery said it could not disclose exactly how much extra money it took in as a result of the rollover.
However, the annual review showed that 60.9 million euros were generated for “good causes” and that a little less than a third of the turnover is used for such causes.
We haven’t seen this much excitement and media attention since the lottery began playing in 1988
The grand prize was eventually won by a bettor in Castlebar, Co Mayo, in January after Premier Lotteries Ireland, the operator of the National Lottery, was given official permission to hold a must-win draw after not awarding a grand prize since June had been.
Premier Lotteries Ireland also agreed to hold a must-win draw in the future if there is no jackpot winner after five draws have hit a new jackpot cap.
The highly unusual circumstances, with no one winning the top-flight draw for half a year, led to much media comment and a statement in Fine Gael North Kildare TD Bernard Durkan’s Dáil.
Mr Durkan had called for the must-win draw to restore public confidence in the National Lottery and said the six-month rollover was unsustainable.
Following his intervention, the National Lottery began running a series of ads to show how its earnings were distributed.
In its annual review released today, the National Lottery announced that it had a turnover of €1.05 billion last year, up from €918 million in 2020.
Of this, €304 million was distributed to so-called ‘good causes’, while €586 million was paid out in winnings for lottery and other games, including scratch cards.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/how-chase-for-record-lotto-jackpot-helped-operator-make-extra-180m-41859303.html How Chasing Record Lotto Jackpot Helped Operator Earn Extra €180M