While it’s somewhat overshadowed by Camelot’s version of the game in the UK, the Irish Lottery predates the former by almost a decade. However, its original form was quite different from the one we have today. Founded in 1986 with the goal of selling scratchcards to raise money for charity, the Irish Lottery wouldn’t actually take its familiar Lotto form until April 1988. Now, this popular game offers a jackpot in the millions. 

The Main Prize

As with any lottery, the Irish Lotto is an entirely luck-based game but this doesn’t preclude the study of its numbers. A great deal of data and statistics has been amassed over the years, including the ‘hottest’ and ‘coldest’ numbers, the scale of giving to good causes, and, of course, the biggest ever jackpots. In the latter case, that figure currently stands at €19,978,202, from a draw in October 2021. 

data analytics

Over time, the Irish Lotto’s jackpot has increased substantially, something that’s a direct consequence of the game’s accessibility. It’s now possible to play the game and find all of the Lotto results on the internet, with some websites offering the opportunity to bet on the results of the Irish Lotto. It’s a subtle twist on the usual formula that means it can be played outside Ireland. 

So, about those statistics. There are currently 47 balls in the Irish Lotto, from which players have to choose six. This gives a 1 in 10,737,573 of landing the main prize and a 1 in 29 shot at a smaller one. As far as draws are concerned, the game is held in a bi-weekly format, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8 pm (GMT). There are also two supplementary games that are drawn immediately after, namely, Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2. 

Random Events

Here’s where things get interesting. As mentioned, lotteries are random events but certain numbers do repeat. If you’d like to get technical, there are plenty of theories out there about why this happens, suggesting that even the act of picking a random number in your head is preordained. This kind of science is used to inform all kinds of strategies in games of chance, even though they rarely ever work. 

he most commonly-drawn number in the Irish Lotto is 27, appearing 120 times over the last 34 years. By comparison, the next most popular balls are 47 and 29, with 108 and 107 appearances, respectively. The number 36 is the rarest in the Irish Lotto, having appeared just 70 times since 1988, closely followed by 26 (71 draws). As of mid-2022, 36 hasn’t been seen in more than a hundred days.

Finally, let’s take a look at the Irish Lotto’s charitable donations. The game’s official website claims that it takes 30c from each €1 that comes its way for good causes. This produces a figure of about €4m a week or $6bn since the Irish Lotto was founded. The main beneficiaries of this form of giving are community-based, including local sports, the Irish language, and the arts.

Overall, the Irish Lotto is a simple game yet one with a surprising amount of statistical treasure to be uncovered.

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