The €19 million lotto jackpot didn’t find a winner even at the 48th draw took place on Saturday. Many including Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan had called for an investigation on the ‘unwinnable lottery’ which Taoiseach Micheal Martin also has backed.
Amid the criticisms, a new report suggests that the National Lottery has over €85 million worth of unclaimed prizes in the last five years. According to the report by the Irish Mirror, last year saw the Lottery retain €17,026,536, in 2019 it was €18,993,483, €18,922,846 in 2018, €16,164,125 in 2017 and €16,359,564 in 2016.
Lucky punters do not always collect their winnings and this sees millions of euros a month go back into the National Lottery operator’s bank account. These funds are then used to pay for more marketing and to help pay out prizes, the same as ordinary game fees.
Taoiseach Martin backed the demand from TD Bernard Durkan for an investigation on the ‘unwinnable lottery.’
“I have noted of late Deputy Durkan’s tenacity and persistence on the issue of the lottery and the necessity for somebody to win the prize,” Mr Martin said TD Durkan on Dail.
“I think it should be, could be taken up by the Committee on Finance – you’re a member of that, I think you should invite in the regulator which governs the licensing of the Lotto.” he added.
Taoiseach also said that he did not have the capacity to produce a winner in the lottery and it was not in his grasp. But he backed the efforts of TD Durkan in calling for investigation.