Irish lottery operator seeks ‘must-be-won’ draw to end barren spell

criticism of the time taken for somebody to win the jackpot
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The operator of the Irish National Lottery is calling for lawmakers to approve plans to hold a ‘must be won’ draw following criticism of the time taken for somebody to win the jackpot.

According to The Journal, the CEO of Premier Lotteries Ireland Andrew Algeo stated that a must be won draw “would ensure that such an improbably long wait for a capped jackpot win cannot occur again”.

Algeo will join representatives of the National Lottery before the Oireachtas financial committee this week to give evidence on the lack of jackpot winners this year.

The Irish National Lottery has not been won since June, despite being a biweekly draw and the jackpot has been capped at the maximum of €19m since September.

However, Algeo is expected to state that it is ‘highly unusual’ that nobody has won the top jackpot for so long. He said, courtesy of The Journal: “Given the tickets purchased since early June, the chances are akin to rolling a die 37 times without the number “6” arising.”

He added that a must be won draw is vital for “all stakeholders of the National Lottery including our customers” to view the lottery jackpot as “possible”.

Questions began to be raised last month as Bernard Durkan, the Fine Gael Teachta Dala, complained that nobody had won the top jackpot of the lottery since June 6.

“It’s been almost six months since it was won. This didn’t happen in Ronan Collins’ day. The jackpot has been stuck at €19m since September,” he told the Irish Times, adding that a “full investigation and audit into the draw” should take place.

National Lottery regulator Carol Boate is expected to argue that it is not so unusual for a lottery to not be won for so long and that there are “no regulatory issues”.

She told the Journal: “The current extended period without a jackpot win is unusual in the history of the game, but it is not unusual in the history of lotteries.

“Statistically, unlikely events are part of the nature of games of chance and lotteries. It was also statistically unlikely that the Lotto jackpot would be won three Saturdays in a row and yet this happened at the end of May and over the June bank holiday weekend earlier this year when players won jackpots totaling €11.4m in three consecutive Saturday draws.”