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Lotto Fever

For those of you living under a rock, inside a deep cave within Ireland, Lotto fever is gripping the country at the moment. The national lottery has not been won now for over 10 weeks and the jackpot is heading for Eur 15M this weekend. I play Lotto on the odd occasion, perhaps when depressed and really looking for an exit from the rat race or possibly on a whim of momentary enjoyment. I know full well that I would be better off doing something else with my cash but in true gambler speak, there’s always that one chance. 🙂

What really surprises me at the moment, is the excitement that this jackpot is producing. 10 years ago I could understand this and it’s not that I’m saying that Eur 15M is not a lot of money. Where I am coming from is that Ireland has been exposed to the so-called Euro Millions lottery for several years now, running each Friday night and with an average jackpot of about Eur 18M. They estimate the chances of winning some sort of prize in the Euro Millions draw to be 1 in 24. Compare this to the Irish National lottery where the average jackpot is maybe a couple of million Euro and the best odds for you winning some sort of prize outside of the 5-4-3-2-1 game which is a different ticket anyway is at most 1 in 48. So there you have it, evidence that Lotto fever really is a contagious disease: everyone in Ireland is contracting a bout of euphoria about a jackpot that is less than an average Euro Millions draw and odds that are at best twice as unlikely as the Euro Millions draw. Okay the odds I’m talking about here reflect winning a minor prize but when you start debating about odds of 1 in X million for winning the big jackpot you kind of lose the argument anyhow. It’s amazing to see how this is gripping the nation when better is on offer each and every week. Maybe it’s national pride, maybe it’s because Lotto has become the Irish dream and as such cannot be replaced by European replicas. Will I be playing this weekend? Hell yes!! 🙂

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