Last month the Irish National Lottery finally paid out the €8.2 million jackpot that was originally won on the 5th of March. There’s been a lot of speculation regarding the delay in payment but so far no concrete details have emerged.
However, on the 3rd of June the 90 day deadline had passed and the lottery could not put off making the payment any longer.
Speculation around the incident was fuelled when the lottery operator, Premier Lottery Ireland (PLI) admitted that the prize had not yet been paid out despite a winner coming forward. A solicitor’s letter from the lawyers representing the winner has been sent to PLI expressing disappointment in the way the matter was handled and suggesting that the regulators should examine their actions.
It’s rare for lotteries not to honour a pay out, as this directly affects their reputation among lottery players and could damage ticket sales. If someone comes forward to claim a prize and it is usually paid out very quickly once everything has been verified. The only case where a lottery may not make a payment is if there is a dispute within a syndicate, or they suspect that a ticket has been tampered with.
So far, PLI has not given any reason or explanation for the delay in paying out this jackpot. But they have confirmed that they will pay the jackpot to the winner. A court ruling has also stated that they should pay out the principal sum and the interest earned on it in the interim. The interest on that sum alone is a substantial €2500 per week!
No doubt the winner is relieved to have won their case, but it is baffling as to way the money was not paid out immediately. Unfortunately it appears that we’ll never know the real reason behind the delay. And other lottery players will be worried that this could be a problem for future jackpot winners. Whether this incident has permanently damaged PLI's reputation remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely to stop loyal players from buying tickets.
However, this story does highlight an important fact about claiming your winnings - always check the lottery operator's prize collection deadline, because they are not all the same around the world.
Take the example of playing the Euromillions, which crosses many territories, many of which have different collection rules: the UK National Lottery gives you 180 days to claim your prize, while in Ireland you only have 90 days to come forward. If you play the Euromillions in France, on the other hand, you only have 60 days to claim your prize! So players should bear this in mind and make a point of checking their tickets after every draw.
Or, a good solution would be to buy your lottery tickets online through a reputable concierge ticket service. It gives you the option to play a range of international lotteries at the click of a mouse. And you don’t have to fret about claiming your winnings on time because everything is managed for you.
Your tickets are purchased in the relevant country on your behalf and held safely until the draw takes place. Then, the tickets are carefully checked and any winnings are deposited into your account. You’ll also receive an email confirmation of your winnings and any money due is allocated accordingly in a matter of days. That way you can completely avoid the hassle of checking your tickets and claiming your winnings in person. Even if you win a big jackpot, the service will help you make all the arrangements to collect your prize.
Even local lottery players will appreciate the convenience of buying lottery tickets online. You can even set up a subscription to ensure that you never run the risk of missing a draw. And that alone will improve your chances of winning. When it comes to playing the lottery—consistency is key.
It’s sad to hear that a winner has had to resort to getting lawyers involved to claim their lottery prize money. Lawyers confirmed that it did put a dampener on the celebrations and caused an immense amount of frustration for the winner. Can you imagine what it must be like to win a jackpot and then have wait three months to get your money out? Not to mention the cost and inconvenience of employing lawyers to help you sort the matter out.
Although one can understand that the lotteries have a responsibility to ensure that a ticket is valid before paying out. But delaying pay outs is bad for business so one can only speculate that there must be some reason behind it. Whatever it may be, at least this story has a happy ending. The winner will receive their money and they are no doubt eager to get on with spending it. It also shouldn’t stop you from buying you next lottery ticket either—if you’re a real winner, you’ll always come out on top!