Lotto Celebrates 30 Years of Draws

Lotto Celebrates 30 Years of Draws

More than €2.5 billion has been paid out in 1,740 Lotto jackpot wins over the last three decades, according to figures released by the National Lottery to mark the 30th anniversary of the first ever Lotto Jackpot draw and win.

The highest Jackpot win was a mega €18,963,441 won in June 2008 by a syndicate in Carlow. And the counties with the most Lotto jackpot wins over 30 years are Dublin (572), Cork (173) and Galway (92). (see table below)

Ireland’s first ever Lotto jackpot winner was lucky Donegal woman, Brigid McGrath from Letterkenny, who won a life-changing £147,059 (punts) – the equivalent of €2 million in today’s money -  in the highly anticipated first Lotto draw on Saturday, April 16th 1988. 

A widow who had reared a very young family on her own she became an instant celebrity appearing on the front of newspapers and on news bulletin for days as well as being a guest on the Late Late Show hosted by Gay Byrne. 

After the win, Brigid bought houses for her adult children and she also treated herself to a lovely cottage in Letterkenny Town. She was a great patron for the local community. 

Today the man who sold that first winning Lotto ticket, Brendan Proctor of Proctor’s Newsagents in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, recalled the excitement at that time.   

 

“1988 was a completely different era in Ireland. The country was coming out of one of the worst recessions in the history of the State, and the new Lotto game allowed people for the first time to play for sums of money that they could never have imagined in their wildest dreams.” 

He said: “The week of the first draw was just crazy. In my own shop in Letterkenny Town ticket sales were through the roof. On the Saturday of the draw queues for tickets were out the door such was the frenzy around the launch of the game.” 

It was announced late on Saturday night that the Lotto had been won - but the National Lottery remained tight-lipped on the location of the winning ticket, something which created huge anticipation around the country with rumour and gossip as to who the lucky winner might be. 

“I found out on the Sunday morning when the National Lottery called me at home to tell me I had sold the winning ticket. What a feeling that was! We had such a small close-knit community in Letterkenny and knowing that one of my neighbours had won a truly astounding amount of money was amazing. We had to keep it quiet for a couple of days but once the news got out it was a complete media circus in the town as reporters from every corner of the country flocked to get the scoop on who the lucky winner was.” 

National Lottery chief executive, Dermot Griffin, said the total paid out on the Lotto draws, including jackpot wins, over 30 years is more than €4.4 billion.

“The Lotto is one of our most popular games and that is reflected in that fact it has sustained over three decades and is as popular as ever. The game has changed over the years with the draw now taking place twice a week on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s but it still is giving our players the chance to dream and hope that one day it could be them!”

 

The Lotto in Numbers

Total Won in Lotto Jackpot Prizes: €2,577,134,285 (Over €2.5 Billion)

Total Jackpot Winners: 1740

County by county breakdown of Lotto Jackpot wins *

 

County

Lotto Jackpot Wins

Total Jackpot Amount

Carlow

22

€43,670,824

Cavan

28

€52,879,738

Clare

40

€60,135,055

Cork

173

€251,621,551

Donegal

90

€116,006,844

Dublin

572

€856,434,245

Galway

92

€137,955,578

Kerry

37

€48,637,047

Kildare

69

€92,659,583

Kilkenny

24

€29,307,451

Laois

13

€21,511,177

Leitrim

9

€24,582,930

Limerick

59

€74,397,231

Longford

13

€13,288,028

Louth

76

€89,032,725

Mayo

58

€103,718,494

Meath

54

€75,074,088

Monaghan

22

€16,851,213

Offaly

19

€29,866,385

Online

5

€20,662,129

Roscommon

19

€20,032,530

Sligo

23

€34,269,036

Tipperary

51

€85,944,393

Waterford

40

€66,220,964

Westmeath

32

€67,205,418

Wexford

46

€69,095,654

Wicklow

54

€76,073,974

*correct as of time of publication 16th April 2018

Top 10 Lotto Wins

1: 28 June 2008 - €18,963,441

One winning ticket - the Dan Morrissey Syndicate, Carlow

Selling Shop: Hegarty’s Staplestown Road, Carlow

2: 14 April 2010 - €16,717,717

One winning ticket - Waterford couple

Selling Shop: Easons, Dungarvan S.C., Dungarvan, Waterford

3: 23 October 2010 - €16,390,239

One winning ticket - Dublin man sharing with his family.

Selling Shop: Donnybrook Fair, 89 Morehampton Road, Donnybrook Dublin 4

4: 28 July 2007 - €16,185,749

One winning ticket - The Cunningham Family, Fairhill, Cork City

Selling Shop: Centra, 23/25 Close Road, Farranree, Cork

5: 26 April 2008 - €15,658,143

One winning ticket - Family from Dublin      

Selling Shop: Rowlagh News, Unit 4, Chaplins Place, Clondalkin Dublin 22

6: 12 March 2008 - €14,543,033

One winning ticket - Group of two from Co Kildare

Selling Shop: Tesco Ireland Cork Road, Newbridge Kildare

7.18 April 2009 - €14, 530,193

One winning ticket – A couple from Glenageary, Co Dublin

Selling Shop: Spar, Glenageary S.C., Glenageary,  Dublin

8:23 January 2016 - €13,793,435

One Winning Ticket - Mayo family syndicate

Selling Shop: Carey's Main Street Belmullet Co Mayo

9:22 December 2007 – €13,295,379

One winning ticket - Family syndicate from Galway

Selling Shop: News & Choose Main Street, Loughrea Galway

10:27 May 2009 - €13,150,324

One winning ticket – Couple from Mayo  

Selling Shop: Dalkey PO, Ulverton Place, Dalkey, Dublin

 

Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games go back to Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. In total, more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago.

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