Deserving causes might not have won the lotto but should still benefit

15 January 2016

Galway East Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins today called for “Unclaimed lottery prizes to go to good causes, of which there are many”. 

Senator Higgins was reacting to claims that 2% of national lottery money has not been collected by suspecting winners which amounts to approximately €13m.  Lottery winnings must be collected within a defined period of time after which they are forfeited. 

Senator Higgins said: “It is incumbent on the operators of the National Lottery that they are made to transparently disclose the amount of money of unclaimed prizes on an annual basis and what is done with it. 

“I believe that this unclaimed money should not be sucked up by the operators of the National Lottery, a private company, for their use and benefit when there are so many good causes in this country who could well do with a financial injection. I’m thinking of schools, charities, sports clubs, and social enterprises and so on. 

“If the operators refuse to do this on their own bat I feel that the government should introduce legislation to deal with the uncollected monies because it is totally unconscionable that a private company would have the benefit of these winnings for themselves. On that basis I have written to the operators to ask them to voluntarily take this action” Senator Higgins concluded. 

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