How much can you win the lottery in Ireland?

Ailís Breathnach
October 14, 2023

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, fellow dreamer! 🍀 Ever daydreamed about the leprechaun leaving a pot of gold in your backyard? Well, while we can’t guarantee mythical creatures bestowing fortunes, we can chat about the next best thing in Ireland – the lottery! Let’s embark on a whimsical journey to uncover the whims, wonders, and whopping amounts you can win in the Irish Lottery!

1. The Basics – A Wee Bit of History

The Irish Lottery, officially known as the National Lottery, commenced its operation in 1987. Its mission? To raise funds for good causes and occasionally make someone happier than a leprechaun in a shoe shop!

2. Show Me the Money! Or… Euros, in this case.

So, how much can one snag in this game of chance? The highest jackpot ever won was a staggering €18.9 million in 2008. That’s enough money to buy over 7 million pints of Guinness, in case you’re counting. (And who isn’t?)

3. Winning Odds – Or, “Should I Buy a Horse Instead?”

Your chances of winning the Irish Lottery jackpot are around 1 in 10.7 million. To put that in perspective, you have a better chance of spotting a unicorn grazing in your garden. But, then again, where’s the fun in predictable odds?

4. Types of Draws – The More, the Merrier!

The Irish Lottery isn’t just a one-trick pony. We have:

  • Lotto: The classic draw. Pick six numbers, and if they match, prepare to dive into your money bin!
  • Lotto Plus 1 & 2: Think of them as the siblings of the main Lotto draw, giving you even more chances to win.
  • EuroMillions: For when you’re feeling a wee bit continental! With bigger pots and more countries participating, it’s like the Eurovision of lotteries.
  • Daily Million: As the name suggests, you can play this daily and potentially win up to… yep, you guessed it, €1 million!

5. What you didnt know

Did you know:

  • The most commonly drawn number is 38. Is it luck or just a particularly energetic ball? We’ll never know.
  • Over 30 cent of every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back to the Good Causes Fund. So, even if you don’t win, Ireland does!

6. The Millionaire’s Checklist

If by some stroke of (insane) luck, you do end up winning:

  • Don’t Lose the Ticket: It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people misplace their golden tickets while doing a jig of joy.
  • Stay Calm: Okay, who are we kidding? Do your victory dance, belt out your best rendition of “Danny Boy,” and THEN, maybe, calm down.
  • Get Professional Help: No, not the psychiatrist! Think financial advisors, lawyers – the whole entourage that comes with being ridiculously wealthy.

7. Things to Buy with Your Winnings

Just to get the imagination running:

  • A castle. Because, why not?
  • Approximately 3.8 million packs of Tayto crisps.
  • A lifetime supply of Irish whiskey (and perhaps a liver to match).
  • Tickets for all your mates for a U2 concert. Including the ones you haven’t met yet.

8. The Irish Lottery: Not Just About the Moolah!

While winning is delightful, the National Lottery has also contributed over €5 billion to various good causes since its inception. So, in a way, even if you’re parting with a few euros and not hitting the jackpot, you’re still a part of something bigger, brighter, and inherently Irish.

9. The Quirkiest Lottery Stories from the Emerald Isle

With millions of players over the decades, there are bound to be some tales that would even have leprechauns raising an eyebrow!

  • The Forgetful Winner: One Irish winner was so accustomed to not winning that he left a winning ticket worth €350,000 in his car’s visor for nearly a month. It was only after hearing news reports about an unclaimed prize did he check and realize he was the lucky duck!
  • The Double-Whammy: In a move that makes finding a four-leaf clover look commonplace, a woman in Cork won two lotto prizes in the same draw, netting a neat €50,000. It seems she accidentally marked the same number twice!

10. What’s the Deal with Syndicates?

Often, people band together to play the lottery, increasing their chances of winning. Several colleagues or even just groups of friends pool their money to buy multiple tickets.

  • The Lucky Bus Drivers: In 2016, a syndicate of 22 Dublin bus drivers made headlines when they snagged a cool €23.8 million. Imagine the Monday morning meeting after that weekend!

11. Caring for Winners – The National Lottery’s Support

It’s not just about handing over a cheque and sending winners on their merry way. The National Lottery provides advice and counselling, helping them make the most of their new fortunes.

  • Under Wraps: They even allow winners to remain anonymous. So if you’re the private type who’d rather not have distant cousins suddenly remembering you, they’ve got your back.

12. More Than Just Lotto

While the lottery is their flagship game, the Irish National Lottery offers other ways to win, like scratch cards. Some have nabbed up to €1 million from just a simple scratch. And if you’re curious about the odds, they’re considerably better than the main draw.

13. The Bigger Picture

A massive chunk of the funds raised through ticket sales goes back to the community, supporting projects in sports, arts, culture, heritage, youth, health, and community.

  • Play and Support: Even if you’re not winning the big bucks, you’re contributing to a school’s new sports equipment, preservation of national heritage sites, and many more invaluable initiatives.

14. A Look into the Future

The future of the Irish Lottery is as bright as a pot of gold under a rainbow. With the rise of online platforms, it’s now more accessible than ever. There’s a lot of buzz around incorporating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into lottery experiences, ensuring that even traditional games like these continue to evolve and excite.

In the End…

The Irish National Lottery, with its vast history and countless stories, is more than just about winning. It’s about dreams, the collective spirit, and making a difference—both in individual lives and the community at large.

If you’re thinking about taking a shot at it, remember: it’s the journey, the anticipation, and the stories that make it truly magical. Winning is just the cherry on top of this Irish sundae. So, grab your ticket, and may the winds of fortune sail you to your pot o’ gold! Cheers and good luck!

Author Ailís Breathnach

Sláinte! Meet Ailís Breathnach, the heart and soul behind Born in the lush landscapes of County Cork and educated in the bustling streets of Dublin, Ailís boasts over a decade of experience working with both online and land-based casinos. Her intricate knowledge of the industry is unmatched, making her the Emerald Isle's most reliable voice on all things casino. Having witnessed the dramatic evolution of the Irish gambling scene, from traditional gaming floors to the digital era, Ailís's insights are both rich in history and forward-looking. Today, she dedicates her time and expertise to provide avid gamers and novices alike with the latest news, honest reviews, and indispensable tips at Whether you're in search of the next big slot sensation or seeking a reputable site to place your bets, Ailís's words are the trusted guidepost. When she isn't decoding the intricate nuances of the latest casino offerings, you can find Ailís soaking in the local culture at her favourite Dublin pub, enjoying a cold pint of beer. A fervent football enthusiast, nothing quite matches her love for the game. Whether it's cheering for the Boys in Green or enjoying a riveting Premier League match, Ailís's passion is palpable. Join the ranks of Ailís's loyal readership, and arm yourself with the knowledge and confidence to navigate Ireland's ever-expanding casino world. Cheers to your next winning streak, under the guidance of the nation's leading expert! 🍀🎰⚽🍺