National Lottery Apologises For Scratch Card Errors And Announces New Year’s Special Draw

Scratch card error and New Year's Special Draw

The operator of the National Lottery, PLI, has found that four top prizes were not included for players to win in three of the 178 scratch card games that it has offered since taking over the Licence in 2014. Together, the four prizes are worth €180,000 and represent 1.36% of the total prize funds of those three scratch card games. These omissions were discovered through an internal review of all National Lottery products over the last six weeks and were caused by human error.

Lotto, EuroMillions, Daily Millions, digital games and all other National Lottery products were unaffected by these errors. The Regulator of the National Lottery was promptly notified of the review and has been regularly updated since.   Good Causes were not adversely affected.  

National Lottery CEO, Andrew Algeo, said, “We are deeply sorry for these errors which should have been fixed before the games went on sale. We are committed to ensuring that our players are always treated fairly. New controls are now in place to ensure this does not happen again. We would like to reassure our players by pointing out that the total amount involved is less than 0.01% of all our prizes of the last five years. The total value of the missing prizes will now be made available to our players through a special draw.” 

The National Lottery will run a New Year’s Special Draw on 6th January 2020 for 180 “will be won” prizes of €1,000.   At no additional cost, all entrants to the Christmas Bonus Draws will automatically be entered into the New Year’s Special Draw.   The Christmas Bonus Draws are available to any players of Hampers Sweets and Treats, Merry Money or Christmas Countdown scratch cards after 1 October 2019. Details of the New Year’s Special Draw can be found at where players can also enter.

PLI will fund the total cost of the New Year’s Special Draw and will forego any contribution from additional sales of these Christmas scratch cards compared to 2018, by donating any additional contribution to the charity Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health.   Good Causes will benefit from all sales in the normal way.     



Notes to Editors

Impacted Games

  • In Congratulations Game 186, which was on sale until July 2019, there should have been four top jackpot prizes of €50k, when in fact there were two such prizes. 
  • In Congratulations Game 223, which has been on sale since April 2019, the website and rules correctly state that there is one €50k top jackpot prize in the game. However, there should have been two €50k top jackpot prizes to align with the approved prize structure. Because of this omission, the game is being withdrawn from sale.
  • In Diamond Bingo Doubler Game 125, which was on sale until February 2017, there should have been four top jackpot prizes of €30k, when in fact there were three. 


For more information, please contact: 

Paul Bradley

National Lottery Press Office

085 1744281/