The supervisory authority gives Lotto a thumbs up despite the record waiting time for a rollover win of 19 million euros

THE longest rollover jackpot in Irish Lottery history, with players waiting more than six months to win the €19 million top prize, has not affected the Lotteries Regulator’s assessment of the deal.

In its annual report for 2021, released this morning, the National Lottery’s regulator gave a broadly positive assessment of the lottery, despite the protracted rollover.

Andrew Algeo, chief executive of Premier Lotteries Ireland, appeared before an Oireachtas committee hearing in December last year to explain why the jackpot – which was capped at just over €19m at the start of October last year, having been awarded since June of the previous year had not been won – continued to be rolled over.

The odds of winning the top prize – which has a jackpot of at least €2 million – are one in more than 10.7 million.

Premier Lotteries Ireland was commissioned by An Post in 2014 to operate the National Lottery for 20 years.

Premier Lotteries Ireland’s owners include the €120 billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which also owns the UK-based Camelot Group, as well as An Post and An Post Pension Funds. She paid 405 million euros for the contract.

The National Lottery’s turnover last year exceeded 1.05 billion euros, with prizes totaling 586 million euros.

At the Oireachtas hearing last December, Mr Algeo – a former Paddy Power executive – applied for regulatory approval to introduce a ‘must win’ lottery jackpot so that a roll-over period would be limited.

New rules were then introduced which mean that the lotto jackpot cap of just over €19 million has been reached, it will be capped at a maximum of five draws, after which if there is no outright winner the funds will roll over to the next prize tier.

The record €19.1 million rollover jackpot was eventually won by a Co Mayo family community on January 15th this year.

“Not since the start of lottery play in 1988 has we seen so much excitement and media attention about one of Ireland’s most popular games,” Mr Algeo later remarked in the National Lottery’s annual report.

Carol Boate, the National Lottery regulator, said today that last year €290 million was transferred from the National Lottery Fund to the Treasury to support charities.

That was 14 percent more than in 2020 on a comparable basis.

“Part of this increase is due to revenue generated by an unprecedented lottery jackpot rollover from June 9, 2021 to January 15, 2022,” she noted.

“The jackpot reached a record €19.1 million on September 29, 2021, at which point it was capped as per the game rules and the percentage of sales that would normally go towards increasing the jackpot each draw went towards the Increasing prizes won in the next higher prize bracket with at least one winner,” said Ms Boate, who had a €154,000 salary package last year.

She said this generated “significant public interest” in the lottery game.

Last year there was a violation of the lottery license by the operator. Due to a time lag in the operator’s systems, marketing communications were incorrectly sent to 48 players who had self-excluded themselves from playing lottery games up to 36 hours earlier. However, neither player can participate in lottery games during their self-exclusion period. The supervisory authority gives Lotto a thumbs up despite the record waiting time for a rollover win of 19 million euros

Fry Electronics Team

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