Investigation into Lotto rollovers unnecessary, says UCC statistician

UCC's Dr Michael Cronin said that even though the jackpot had rolled over 47 times since the start of June it was not surprising to see a sequence of rollovers
Investigation into Lotto rollovers unnecessary, says UCC statistician

Given that the Lottery was drawn twice a week, it was not surprising to get a sequence of rollovers as has occurred, a UCC statistician has said.

A statistician has said that calls for an investigation into why the National Lottery jackpot has not been won for some time are unfounded and that the number of rollovers made no difference to the odds of winning.

Dr Michael Cronin, who is head of statistics at the School of Mathematical Sciences at University College Cork said that even though the jackpot had rolled over 47 times since the start of June, a phenomenon that had odds of 1,500 to one, it was not surprising to see a sequence of rollovers.

While this was a relatively rare event, he said it did not make any difference to any draw. Given that the Lottery was drawn twice a week, it was not surprising to get a sequence of rollovers as has occurred.

“Even though it has rolled over 47 times, it doesn't make any difference to tonight's draw. Your odds of winning on a single ticket tonight are still 10.7 million to one.

“They haven't increased or they haven't decreased.” 

There were other odds comparable to the Lotto rollover, Dr Cronin told Newstalk Breakfast.

He said that the chances of rolling a six four times when throwing a dice were 1,300. The chances of being born on February 29 were 1,400 to one, he added.

Calls for an investigation into the National Lottery system were unnecessary, he said. 

“It's completely random, there's no evidence of anything untoward happening.”

The record €19m jackpot has been rolling since June and the lengthy wait for a winner has led to some calls for greater scrutiny of the lotto system.

Last week, the Taoiseach suggested that the National Lottery regulator could be asked to appear before the Dáil's Finance Committee.

In November, Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan called for an investigation into the lotto draw, with no one winning the jackpot for six months.

“It’s been almost six months since it was won. This didn’t happen in Ronan Collins’ day. The jackpot has been stuck on 19 million euros since September. What’s going on?” he said, referring to the DJ and former host of the National Lottery draw.

“The prospect of winning is so remote that punters must be thinking Shergar would have a better chance at winning Squid Game.”

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