I wish to clarify issues raised in the letter from Cllr Noel Collins published on page 10 of the Irish Examiner on January 11
The total won on National Lottery prizes in 2017 was over €480m, with prize money paid out on scratch cards making up more than €150m of this figure.
In fact, across the portfolio of National Lottery games, 56% of sales go back to players in prizes, with the average on scratch cards much higher at 65%.
The people of Ireland benefit hugely from National Lottery sales through winning and returns to good causes.
Nearly 30c in every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back into areas of youth, sport, recreation and amenities, health and welfare, arts, culture and national heritage, and the Irish language.
In 30 years, over €5bn has been raised for good causes. This funding is distributed to thousands of clubs, community groups and projects and there is not a parish in Ireland that has not benefited.
Indeed, in Cork the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh was part-funded by a National Lottery good-cause grant of €30m.
On a smaller scale, the Fermoy-based Blackwater Sub Aqua club is an example of a voluntary organisation that has benefited from good causes.
The club, which has been involved in at least 200 search-and-recover operations all over the country, has been able to purchase necessary equipment with National Lottery funding.
With regards to the National Lottery RTÉ TV gameshow Winning Streak, three-star scratch card entries are received each week.
A preliminary draw takes place on Thursdays in our office and is independently observed by a member of An Garda Síochána and KPMG.
One hundred valid entries are selected from this preliminary draw for the final draw on the next applicable Winning Steak gameshow.
Each of these 100 scratch cards are resealed in a fresh envelope to ensure they remain anonymous, hence none contain postage stamps.
Five envelopes are drawn from a drum by show presenters Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy.
This ensures there is simply no way to determine where the players on the show will come from.
We at the National Lottery are very proud of the impact of good causes funding on communities all over Ireland and thank all of our players for their support over the last 30 years.
, CEO of Premier Lotteries Ireland (Operator of the National Lottery)
Lower Abbey St, Dublin 1