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It could be you but this time it's them: Lotto sales soar to €750 million

Nearly 38 new millionaires were created last year.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE NATIONAL LOTTERY, now run by a private company since 2014, has released its annual report with total sales for the year ended 31 December 2016 at €750.2m, compared to €670.4m in 2015.

Premier Lotteries Ireland said that on top of the increased sales, it had raised €213 million for good causes. It also said that Ireland has a “high rate” of participation with 2.1 million of all Irish adults playing games on a regular basis.

Its report also stated that 38 new millionaires were created, with players sharing overall prizes to the value of €422 million.

The company cited the introduction of its app as one of the main reasons for its increase in sales with nearly 400,000 people signing up to choose their numbers online.

Dermot Griffin, CEO of Premier Lotteries Ireland said that the completion of the company’s second full year of trading has seen a “significant and positive return to sustainable and responsible growth for the National Lottery”.

He said: “Several important initiatives were activated during the year, including the continued refresh of our game portfolio, major investment in our online and retail channels and the launch of the new National Lottery app.

“The strategy which began with transition to the new license in 2014 is now seeing the benefits of the large-scale investment in our infrastructure. This is delivering prizes to our players and most importantly securing much needed funds for deserving good causes across Ireland – a responsibility we take very seriously.”

However, it has not been plain sailing for the private firm, which has the licence to operate the lottery here for 20 years.

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Accounts filed for Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI) in 2015 showed the company lost €17.4 million for its first 19 months in operation. However, that figure included just one month of ticket sales.

Sales slumped in 2015 due to a number of technology issues but now the company says it is on the right track.

The company, which is backed by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and An Post among others, paid €405 million in 2014 year for the licence to run the National Lottery.

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