How to play Irish Lotto?


  1. What is the Irish Lotto?

    Lotto is the main game of the National Lottery of Ireland (known also as “Lucky Numbers” in the country). It has a 6/47 matrix and is played biweekly, with 3 draws each time, one for the main Lotto game and two for the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2, additional games that can be optionally played by participants using the same numbers selected in the Lotto ticket.

  2. When did the Irish Lotto start?

    The Irish National Lottery was established in 1986 as a way to help raise vital funding for good causes in the Republic. Ticket sales for scratchcards began in 1987 and were soon followed by the current game, the Irish Lotto, in March 1988. 

    In 2000, the National Lottery introduced another draw connected to the main Lotto game, the Lotto Plus: in this way, players could enter their Lotto numbers in an additional 6/42 drawing for a fixed, non-rolling jackpot of £250,000. In 2002, a second Lotto Plus drawing was added, renaming the extra drawings Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2. The jackpots were fixed at €300,000 and €200,000 respectively. In November 2006, when Lotto adopted a 6/45 matrix, the National Lottery raised the Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2 jackpots to €350,000 and €250,000 respectively. In September 2015, following the increase of two extra balls in the machine, the top prize of Lotto Plus 1 was doubled to €500,000 and in 2018 it was doubled again to €1 Million.

  3. How can I play Irish Lotto online?

    You just have to choose 6 numbers from 1 to 47. You can also enter the two additional games, Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2, which are played with two separate draws. The same numbers you selected in the main game will be used for the Plus 1 and Plus 2 draws. But bear in mind that you can enter the Plus 1 draw only if you are playing the main draw and likewise, you can enter the Plus 2 only if you have already added the Plus 1.

  4. How do the three draws work?

    Six numbers and an additional bonus number - which serves to increase your chances of winning - are drawn from a drum containing numbered balls from 1–47 in the main draw. The Plus 1 and Plus 2 draws take place immediately after the main draw with six main numbers and a bonus number drawn in each as well.

  5. When and what time does Irish Lotto take place?

    The Irish Lotto draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday around 7:55 pm GMT (8:55pm CET). Are these not your lucky days? Check out the draw times of other international lotteries.

  6. What are the odds of winning the Irish Lotto?

    The odds of winning the Lotto jackpot by matching six numbers correctly currently stand at 1 in 10,737,573. As the Lotto Plus 1 and the Lotto Plus 2 draws follow the same format, the odds of winning the top prize are also the same for both games. This means that, paying a small extra sum, you have the chance to win three jackpots! Then, the odds of winning any Irish Lotto prize are approximately 1 in 29, but if you also play Lotto, Plus 1 and Plus 2, the odds combined for any prize are 1 in 10.

    Find out the odds of getting each prize category in Irish Lotto and other games around the world and discover which lottery gives you the best chances of winning according to your goal!

  7. Which are the prize categories of Irish Lotto?

    There are three different draws (Lotto, Lotto Plus 1 and Lotto Plus 2), but all of them have the same prize categories. In the table below you can find them and their odds of winning.

Prize category

Odds of winning

6 numbers

1 in 10 737 573

5 numbers + bonus

1 in 1 789 596

5 numbers

1 in 44 740

4 numbers + bonus

1 in 17 896

4 numbers

1 in 918

3 numbers + bonus

1 in 688

3 numbers

1 in 54

2 numbers + bonus

1 in 72

how to play irish lotto


  1. How do I win the Irish Lotto jackpot?

     Jackpots in the main game, Plus 1 and Plus 2 draws, are won when a player matches all six main numbers.

  2. How many numbers should I match to win the smallest prize?

    In order to win the smallest Irish Lotto prize, you have to match two numbers plus the Bonus Ball. In this way, you get a guaranteed prize of €3. Then, as regards Lotto Plus 1, in order to win something, you have to match at least three numbers (€3 prize), and for Lotto Plus 2 at least three numbers plus the Bonus Ball (€5 prize).

  3. What is the minimum guaranteed jackpot? 

    The Irish Lotto jackpot has a guaranteed minimum value of €2 million. Then, the top prize on Lotto Plus 1 stands at €1 Million (since the last change in 2018), while there is a €250.000 jackpot available on the Lotto Plus 2 draw. A particular characteristic of Lotto Plus 1 and Plus 2 is you don’t have to share the jackpot if there is more than one top prize winner; this means that each wins the full amount.

  4. Is there a jackpot cap?

    There is no cap for the jackpot of the main game, so the top prize will continue rolling over from draw to draw until a player matches all six main numbers drawn. Instead the Lotto Plus 1 and Plus 2 jackpot are fixed and don’t increase if there’s no winner.

  5. What is the biggest Irish Lotto jackpot ever won? 

    The biggest Irish Lottery jackpot, won on June 28th 2008, was worth €18,963,441, and was won by a syndicate of 16 players who all worked at a concrete plant in County Carlow.

  6. How long do I have to claim my winnings?

    You have 90 days from the date of the draw to claim any Irish Lotto prize which you are due.

  7. Are winnings on the Irish Lottery taxable?

    Winners within the Republic of Ireland will not be taxed on their prize, but if you are playing online from another country, then you should check your local tax laws.

Irish Lotto or EuroMillions?

Comparing two lotteries that are so well-known and loved by players all over the world is not such an easy task, but we will try to do it, then obviously you have the final say. 

First of all, the two games differ in the conduct of the draws; indeed, with Irish Lotto three draws are held each time, while EuroMillions works like most lotteries, that is with only one draw each time.

Turning to the odds of winning any prize, EuroMillions stands at 1 in 13, instead Irish Lotto at 1 in 29 - a significant difference. However, it should be noted that the odds of winning the Irish Lotto jackpot matching all six numbers are pretty good, representing 1 in 10,737,573; whereas with EuroMillions they are 139,838,160 to 1.

With regard to the value of jackpots, Irish Lotto minimum guaranteed jackpot stands at €2 million and can grow until there is a winner; whereas, EuroMillions has a higher minimum guaranteed jackpot of €17 million and a cap of €190 million.

If you want to know more, read why it's better to be open to play international lotteries, instead of just buying national lottery tickets.

When you are ready to do so, staying informed and checking the results of past draws of EuroMillions and other lotteries is a good practice to develop your new game strategy and turn your life!

So, what are you waiting for? Create your player account in a few simple steps and have fun on!

Go back