How to Play the Irish Lottery in the UK

Discover everything you need to know about playing the Irish lottery in the UK.
6th March 2024

How much do you know about the Irish Lottery?


Why, top o' the morning to you there (we couldn't resist)! Fancy shaking up your usual lottery purchases with some Irish lottery tickets? No need to pack your bags and fish out the passport – players can take part in all the fun of the Irish National Lottery from the comfort of their own home, right here in the UK!  

If you're wondering how you can join in the next draw or you're just after some Irish-themed puns (we have plenty), then you're in the right place.  

Go on, grab yourself a fresh cuppa and let us fill you in. 

What is the Irish National Lottery? 

Nearly all of us in the UK have heard of the National Lottery, but did you know there is an Irish version? Well, now you do! And here's another fun surprise for your next general knowledge quiz: the Irish National Lottery is even older than the UK's version

Back in the 80s, when big hair was all the rave and we were still rocking our neon leggings, some Irish lottery fans decided a statewide version of the iconic game would be a grand way to raise funds for good causes. Cut to a few days after St Patrick's Day (that's 17th March for our non-Irish readers) in 1987, the lottery made its grand debut to the Emerald Isle. We had barely put away our green streamers! 

Things started off small over for the Irish lottery, with just scratchcards being sold at the beginning. But it wasn't long before the excitement caught on and, in April 1988, the traditional lottery game we know and love launched for Irish citizens. Say hello to the Irish Lotto. 

Nowadays, the Irish Lotto is Ireland's most popular lottery game, with almost 40% of Irish adults joining in the fun regularly. It's so popular that there are even fans right here in the UK! 

Brush up on the rules of the game 

Ever seen the Irish Lotto pop up on your screen and think "How does the Irish lottery work"? The answer is simpler than you might think. Just like in the UK National Lottery, the game follows a similar format to bingo, with a ticketing system and numbered balls. 

A big difference between playing bingo and the lottery? You can choose the numbers you want to play with when you buy a lottery ticket. These can be anything you like. Your mum's birthday, your first house number, even your age (real or not)! The numbers available to choose from in the Irish Lotto range from 1 to 47, so keep that in mind in case your first house was #84. 

To play the Irish Lotto, choose six numbers to play with. If the balls match all six of your numbers, then you'll win the jackpot! You can either pick the numbers yourself or take the choice out of your hands with 'Quick Pick', which will pick a random set of six numbers for you.  

Irish Lotto tickets cost just £2 per line, but you need to buy two lines to enter the game, so the cost of a ticket works out to be £4 overall. Got a quid going spare? For another pound, you can also enter your ticket into the Lotto Plus 1 & 2 games! That's two extra chances to discover the pot of gold at the end of the lottery (told you we had some more Irish puns up our sleeves). 

Draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 8pm, with last orders running until 7.45pm if you want to make it into that evening's draw. Choose which draw you want to enter or play both. The choice is yours.  

Your odds of winning explained 

Figuring out how to win on the Irish lottery is super simple (no, really!). Like we said earlier, all you need to do is accurately guess which six numbers will be drawn in the draw. But it would be quite a boring game if that's all there was to it. 

As with all lotteries, the Irish Lotto is a game of chance. By using random number generators to draw the numbered balls, the outcome of each draw is completely unknown. And, just to ensure that the lottery isn't rigged, there are even independent adjudicators who make sure the random number generators are random. Pretty high-tech, huh? 

By operating as a complete game of chance, actually becoming an Irish Lotto winner is anything but simple. Ever heard of the saying "More chance of winning the lottery"? It applies to the Irish lottery too. In fact, the odds of winning the Irish Lotto stand at a 1:10,737,573. That's better than the odds of winning the UK National Lottery (1:14 million for those wondering) but it's still a whopper of a number! 

Don't forget there are more lottery prizes up for grabs than just the grand jackpot, though. Sure, we'd all love to scoop the full win amount, but there are plenty more chances to claim the title of "Irish Lotto Winner" – with slightly better odds than 1:10.7 million. 

The odds available and how much you can win playing the Irish Lotto depends on your winning numbers. The more numbers you match, the lower your odds but the bigger the prize pot. Take the odds for the jackpot – they seem more reasonable when you learn that there's an incredible €2,000,000 up for grabs! 

Numbers Matched
Estimated Prize Value
Odds of Winning
6The Big Jackpot10,737,573:1
5 + Bonus Ball£100,0001,789,596:1
4 + Bonus Ball£15017,896:1
3 + Bonus Ball£25688:1

What are the luckiest numbers on the Irish lottery? 

We all have our 'lucky' numbers. These could be numbers that we think are more likely to win in a competition or even a special date that we think will lead to a good year. A big question everyone likes to ask when playing the lottery is "What are the luckiest numbers?" and the Irish Lotto is no different! 

We can't say for sure what the luckiest numbers are, but we can say which winning numbers are the most common. Since 2015, the most common Irish Lotto numbers to be drawn are: 10, 22, 27, 29, 42 and 45. The least common numbers are 13, 19, 26, 32, 33 and 36.  

As you can see, there's no pattern or way to guess the winning numbers. We can't tell you which numbers will win next, since nobody knows! 

How to play the Irish Lottery in the UK 

So, now you know how the Irish lottery works and your odds of winning, are you ready to have a go for yourself? Good news UK players, there's no need to hop across to the Emerald Isle to buy your ticket. Create an Irish Lottery account online and you can part in the fun from your computer, phone or tablet device.  

And, just like in the UK lottery, any winnings will be automatically added to your account. So, all you need to do is buy your tickets, then relax with one of our fabulous online bingo games (or two depending on when the next draw is!) while you wait for the results to be called. 

Stay up-to-date with the latest results 

You can find the results of the latest Irish Lotto draw right here at Jackpotjoy. As well as the Irish Lotto, we share all the latest news from the UK National Lottery, EuroMillions and Thunderballs draws, so you can check all your numbers in one place.  

Looking for more ways to win amazing jackpots? Join in the fun at Jackpotjoy and you'll find plenty! We have an incredible range of online games designed to create a winning moment for our players. From exciting bingo games, to entertaining mini-games in our free-to-use chat rooms, there are chances to win around every corner. 

Learn more about how you could experience your own winning moment over on the Jackpotjoy blog. 

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