RTE's €4.8m lottery numbers blunder
RTE chiefs will be hoping Ireland's newest Lotto millionaire hasn't thrown away their winning ticket after watching their live broadcast on Saturday night.
The Irish State broadcaster was forced to rectify a huge howler on air, after broadcasting the wrong numbers for two draws, including the main Lotto results.
Many people from Northern Ireland also play the Republic’s lottery, as well as the British National Lottery, to increase their chances of instant riches.
Lotto headquarters confirmed that a winning ticket for Saturday night's colossal €4,817,816 (£4m) jackpot was bought in the south of the country.
Bumbling producers of Saturday night's Lotto draw managed to portray the incorrect ‘winning' numbers for two draws on the graphic immediately after the |live programme.
Frantic programmers quickly spotted the mistake and an hour later, before the main evening news on RTE1, rectified the error with a brief broadcast of the correct graphic.
Two further broadcasts, containing an apology and the correct numbers, were made before midnight on Saturday.
Before the correct graphic was screened in the three later transmissions, the station's continuity announcer said: “On this evening's live Lotto draw, the closing graphic displayed the Lotto and Lotto Plus 2 numbers incorrectly.”
An RTE spokeswoman said yesterday the blunder was being investigated by programme chiefs.
She said: “It was a technical error in the studio, but the correct numbers were transmitted three times after that.
“We don't know yet which numbers were displayed incorrectly after the original programme. It's being looked into.”
In the original live Lotto draw broadcast, presenter Ella McSweeney told viewers that an |extra €1m (£830,000) had been added to the jackpot, before urging viewers: “Make sure to check those tickets very carefully.”
But assuming his or her ticket hasn't been dumped, one lucky winner can look forward |to a memorable Christmas |after becoming the latest Lotto multi-millionaire.
Another 46,000 tickets won cash prizes of lesser value.
The correct winning numbers were 3, 10, 24, 26, 32, 44 and 6.
One person won the €350,000 (£290,000) Lotto Plus 1 draw, but there was no winner of the Lotto Plus 2’s jackpot of €250,000 (£209,000).