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[euro]4.4bn ..thanks a Lotto; What we've won in 30 years since first draw.

Byline: niall moonan

BY niall moonan LOTTO winners have scooped [euro]4.4billion since the first balls rolled out of the drum 30 years ago, bosses revealed yesterday.

And punters across the country will be hoping they'll also be joining the millionaires' club when the 3,000th draw takes place tomorrow night.

As they marked this weekend's milestone, Lotto HQ chiefs crunched the numbers and revealed the game has seen nearly [euro]3billion distributed to good causes.

Spokeswoman Miriam Donohoe said: "Since the very first Lotto draw on Saturday, April 16, 1988, there have been an astonishing 1,738 Lotto jackpot wins, with 745 jackpot prizes exceeding [euro]1million.

"And sales on Lotto games over the last three decades have raised a massive [euro]2.9billion for good causes all over Ireland."

Tomorrow night's jackpot is hitting [euro]4.5million and to mark the special draw, the Lotto revealed Ireland's luckiest counties - with Dublin topping the list.

Players in the capital hit the jackpot 572 times, winning more than [euro]856million in the past 30 years.

Apart from the Dubs, the four other luckiest counties in terms of numbers of jackpots were: | Cork: 172 jackpots - [euro]245million | Galway: 92 jackpots - [euro]137million | Donegal: 90 jackpots - [euro]116million | Louth: 76 jackpots - [euro]89million.

Ireland's first Lotto jackpot winner was lucky Donegal woman Brigid McGrath, from Letterkenny, who scooped PS147,059.

The first ever millionaire was Rita Power, from Ballinasloe in Co Galway, who won PS1,200,937 on May 6, 1989.

On June 28, 2008, the Dan Morrissey Syndicate, from Co Carlow, became overnight celebrities as they smashed the Lotto jackpot record by winning the [euro]18.9million prize - a record which remains today.

National Lottery chief Dermot Griffin said: "Lotto captures the imagination of the public as much today as it did when it was first launched in 1988.

"As we approach our 3,000th draw, we have seen an incredible 1,738 jackpot winners with prizes exceeding a phenomenal [euro]4.4billion.

"I absolutely love welcoming our Lotto winners into our Winners' Room, and witnessing first-hand the whole spectrum of emotions which they go through with their lifechanging Lotto jackpot wins. It is truly remarkable."

news@irishmirror.ie irish mirror comment

[euro]2.9bn How much Lotto sales have raised for good causes in past three decades 1,738 jackpots have been won with 745 of these exceeding [euro]1million 1988 Year the very first Lotto draw took place on Saturday April 16 572 players in Dublin have hit the jackpot, winning more than [euro]856million [euro]18.9m The largest ever prize won in Ireland by a syndicate in Carlow

CAPTION(S):

having a ball Lotto presenters Kamal Ibrahim, Blathnaid Treacy and Nuala Carey

Postie Pat Broderick gets [euro]7million CORK 2011

Tuam Garda syndicate wins a million GALWAY 2001

Rita Power is first to win [euro]1million DONEGAL '89

Simon Fagan collects [euro]3.5million LOUTH 2013

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Feb 2, 2018
Words:490
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