Incentive to win - National Lottery Ireland


  • Arrange a tailor-made travel package consisting of flights, hotel accommodation with breakfast, meals and an events programme for 96-110 people.

  • Must be suitable for a wide range of ages, degrees of mobility and dietary requirements.

  • All passengers in the group must travel on the same flight.

  • Liaise with National Lottery events manager to select a landmark venue for a gala dinner and to organise the event.

  • Help choose and organise a second special event for the winners to attend.



  • Whole party flies direct from Dublin to San Francisco with Aer Lingus.

  • The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel selected as best accommodation.

  • San Francisco Yacht Club booked for gala dinner.

  • Trip to Ramsgate Winery arranged.



  • All of the 44 winners and their guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

  • Fantastic press coverage during the event and on their return.


CWT M&E ensured that the 44 winners and their guests, members of the media and Winning Streak TV Game Show host Marty Whelan, received the best possible treatment from the moment they left Dublin until they arrived home again six days later.


The bespoke event included five nights’ accommodation in a luxurious hotel, a gala dinner and a trip to a vineyard. Even the unexpected drama of an earthquake failed to dampen spirits as guests, confident that they were well cared for, chalked it up as an experience and a story to tell on their return.


Planning a perfect prize


Each year, the National Lottery in Ireland offers viewers of their associated TV Game Show the chance to take part in a prize draw to win an experience of a lifetime for themselves and a guest. Previously groups have been taken to New York where they’ve enjoyed a Broadway show and gala dinner hosted by the Lottery. This year, the National Lottery, led by events manager Barbara Dunne, decided to take the winners to San Francisco.


“The primary aim of the incentive was that the winners had a fantastic time and an unrivalled experience,” said Barbara. “Word of mouth over the past number of years has seen this prize highly sought after by our players. This was our first time in San Francisco as a standalone location and I wanted it to be as successful as our previous events in New York.”


A by-product was the excellent press and media coverage that would encourage other people to participate in National Lottery games.


CWT M&E Ireland was appointed to plan the event, working closely with Barbara, having supplied the National Lottery with similar bespoke travel packages in New York for the past five years.


Picking a winner


Aer Lingus’ new direct flight from Dublin to San Francisco was booked, ensuring that everyone could travel comfortably together. After considering a number of properties, The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel was selected because it offered a high standard of accommodation, food, location and service, while remaining friendly and welcoming.


Aine Corrigan, director of CWT M&E Ireland, suggested a number of vineyards that would be suitable for an unusual experience. Together, she and Barbara settled on Ramsgate Winery for wine tasting and lunch.


“It was a really special place,” said Barbara. “It was beautiful, not very commercial, and all of our guests were delighted with it whether they were wine drinkers or not.”


San Francisco Yacht Club, which has views of the Golden Gate Bridge on one side and Alcatraz on the other, was chosen as the stunning location for the gala dinner, with delicious food and live music.


The earth moved!


On the second day, most people were woken at 3am by a 6.0 earthquake, the biggest in California for 25 years. It happened 50km away but the tremor was felt by the guests at The Fairmont.


Barbara said: “You don’t know how people are going to respond. I was aware that there was the possibility that somebody would be nervous and want to go straight home, or even that 40 people would want to leave. That’s the advantage of having an events and logistics specialist with us, who could have arranged that if necessary, which fortunately it was not.”


Aine added: “The group breakfast time gave us a chance to reassure everyone that it was fine. Marty was fantastic, asking people if the earth had moved for them, and soon everyone was entertained by this unexpected adventure.”


Just the ticket


All the winners said they had a fantastic time. Barbara was delighted that on returning home a great number of them sent letters, emails or phoned to say thank you.


“The preparation for this event by CWT M&E was fantastic,” said Barbara. “The level of detail was first class. This was an another extremely successful incentive and I would happily work with CWT again whether that was going to New York, San Francisco or somewhere completely new.”