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number's up ‘It will be like nothing before’ - Must-win €19m Lotto draw likely to put the shops under pressure

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Vincent Jennings, Chief Executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association.

Vincent Jennings, Chief Executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association.

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The news that Ireland’s largest-ever national lottery prize will have a winner this weekend will create an atmosphere “like nothing before,” Vincent Jennings of the Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association (CSNA) has said.

The operators of the Lotto confirmed on Wednesday evening that they had received regulatory approval to host a must-win draw this weekend after there was no winner of the midweek draw.

If no ticket matches six numbers and lands the jackpot, then the €19.06m will move down to the next prize tier - five numbers and the bonus. This has roughly a two in three chance of occurring this Saturday.

Retailers and store owners are predicting a “very large uptake” on the Lotto upon the news the €19.06m must be won this weekend as, “everyone will want to be in with a chance”.

“There’s superstition, piseógs, luck and all kinds of things that influence people when doing the Lotto. People will be nervous around not doing it for fear it’s sold in their local shop or that their numbers come up and they weren’t in it,” Mr Jennings said.

Shops are being advised to stock up on the Lotto paper and other items needed before the weekend with a much increased interest expected.

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Vincent Jennings, Chief Executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association.

Vincent Jennings, Chief Executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association.

Vincent Jennings, Chief Executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association.

Players of the National Lottery are not the only ones breathing a sigh of relief that the seven-month drought will come to an end this Saturday.

The news comes to the delight of players and retailers as there was a growing sense of fatigue with the seven-month rollover, Tara Buckley, Director General of RGDATA said.

“There was a concern about a fatigue among customers with it not being won for so long, so I think most retail agents are happy that they have come to this conclusion of a must-win draw because you can’t keep rolling over; customers were becoming frustrated.

“It’s welcome that there is now a must-win draw and it remains to be seen how customers will react to that over the coming days. You would presume that there would be more tickets again sold for this weekend’s draw owing to the fact there is a guaranteed win.

“It’s been a great talking point and everyone prefers to see the Lotto to get to around €4-5m and then have a winner rather than have it get to €19m and nobody wins it. People prefer to see it won regularly so lots of people get to share in the joy of winning the lottery.

"Retail agents are definitely happy that it’s now come to a must-win draw,” Ms Buckley said.

Customers are being asked to have patience with staff in shops this weekend as many have depleted rosters on account of Covid-19 isolation rules and will be trying to manage other facets of the business as well as Lotto with less staff and the possibility of more customers.

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“If you are the lucky person that lands the winning ticket, I’m sure you will be willing to put up with that mild discomfort,” Mr Jennings said.

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