The UK and Irish Lottery – What’s the Difference?

  • Both lotteries attract a large number of gamblers in the UK
  • The UK lottery can be found in supermarkets and shops, but the Irish offers greater choice

One of the most popular types of gambling in the UK is numbers betting. In the UK, numbers betting is primarily all about chasing that big win, but elsewhere there are options which give punters greater choice. Here we take a look at the differences between the UK and Irish Lotto and what that means for gamblers.

The National Lottery

The National Lottery has been run in the UK by Camelot since 1994. Initially the UK lottery was only £1 to enter but since 2015 the minimum stake for all customers has been £2. With an increase in stake there also came an increase in numbers from 1-49 to 1-59. The UK Lottery is primarily about the big jackpot and allows punters to select 6 numbers only in order to land the grand prize. The jackpot is typically around £1 million for guessing all 6 numbers correctly, while getting 3 correct will give you £25.

The odds of successfully picking all 6 numbers in the lottery previously stood at 14 million to 1 but with the numbers increased to 1-59 the chances of winning the jackpot now stands at 45 million to 1. Draws are made on a Wednesday and Saturday. You can buy tickets for the UK Lotto at supermarkets, corner shops and petrol stations but not at bookies.

The Irish Lotto

The Irish Lotto is the older of the two lotteries having been started in 1986. Although you can play the lottery for all 6 numbers in Ireland, the most common way to play in the UK is to do so at your local bookmakers or online by selecting fewer than 6 numbers. Most commonly punters select 2 or 3 numbers and then choose whether to play the 6 number or 7 number (bonus ball) game. Choosing just 2 numbers then would pay out somewhere around £50-60 for the 6 number game and around £40 for the 7.

The Irish Lottery has three draws on both a Wednesday and Saturday and the amounts paid out for 1-5 numbers varies from bookmaker to bookmaker. Where you find two bookies in close proximity the odds on the Irish are usually much better. Online the story is much the same. A price comparison for the Irish lottery (6 number draw) between Coral and Ladbrokes shows that the current prices offered are:

1 number = 6/1
2 numbers = 60/1
3 numbers = 675/1
4 numbers = 8000/1
5 numbers = 150000/1

1 number = 7/1
2 numbers = 54/1
3 numbers = 651/1
4 numbers = 7200/1
5 numbers = 125000/1

Since Ladbrokes Coral are all part of the same group you might expect the same odds, but the truth is that Coral pay more for every single number selection above 1.

Irish Lotto advantages

The great advantage of betting on the Irish lottery is that it allows you much greater flexibility with your stake and betting choices. You can bet 10p on 4 numbers or £2 on 3. You may wish to bet £10 on just 2 numbers, although the upper limit of your stake may be restricted on some sites.

Playing the Irish Lotto also allows you to get creative with your betting. You might want to do a Trixie or a Yankee or a Lucky 15 and really come up with some personalised betting strategies. With the Irish Lotto this is easily possible. Of course, you’re not going to become a millionaire on the Irish, but if you prefer your 45,000,000/1 shot on the UK lotto then the best of luck to you.

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