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Lottery Information

Lotto 6/49

Lotto 6/49 is one of Canada's national lottery games, along with Lotto Super 7. Winning numbers are drawn every Wednesday and Saturday. The 6/49, launched in June 1982, was the first nationwide Canadian lottery game to allow players to choose their own numbers. Previous national games such as Lotto Canada and Superlotto (and regional lotteries such as The Provincial and Western Express) used pre-printed numbers on tickets. Lotto 6/49 rendered these forms of lotteries obsolete in Canada.

As the name implies, six numbers are drawn from a set of 49. If a ticket matches all six numbers, the jackpot prize of at least $4,000,000 is won. A bonus number is also drawn, and if a player's ticket matches five numbers and the bonus number, he or she wins the "second prize" which is usually between $100,000 and $500,000. Should more than one player win the top or second prize, it is split amongst them. Lesser prizes are also awarded if one matches at least three numbers, or two numbers plus the bonus number. If the top prize is not won, the jackpot prize increases for the next draw.

Lotto 6/49 tickets are $2 per line as of May 2005. It had previously been $1, but was raised in order to offer larger jackpots. The minimum jackpot amount was also raised from $2,000,000 to $4,000,000. As many as six lines can be printed on one individual ticket.

The game's largest jackpot, and a Canadian lottery record, was drawn on October 26, 2005. The single winning ticket, worth $54.3 million, was purchased in Camrose, Alberta by a group of 17 oil and gas plant workers. The previous record was $37.8 million for a Lotto Super 7 draw in May 2002. The jackpot was originally estimated at $40 million, but due to rapid sales, ballooned to $54,294,712. It was estimated that two out of every three adult Canadians had purchased a ticket. A sales peak of 100 tickets per minute was reached. An estimated $99.4 million worth of tickets were sold. The winning numbers (unofficial) were: 5, 11, 20, 30, 37, 43 and bonus 31.

The Lotto 6/49 game is administered by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, an alliance of the five regional and provincial lottery corporations that cover all of Canada. Each of these corporations operate two regional add-on games that, for an extra $1 each, can be added to a 6/49 ticket. One of them is a "spiel" game (named "Tag", "Encore" or "Extra" depending on region), which adds a 6- or 7-digit digit number to the ticket with a top prize of $100,000 if all six digits are matched or $1,000,000 if all 7 are matched. The other is the "49" game (named "Atlantic Lotto 6/49", "Quebec 49", "Ontario 49", "Western 649" or "BC 49" depending on the region), which works in analogous fashion to the Lotto 6/49 but with a fixed jackpot of $1,000,000 ($2,000,000 in BC 49). In some regions, one line costs 50 cents; while in others, the "49" game is sold two lines at a time at a cost of $1.

Prizes & Odds of Winning

Number of Matches Win Approx. Odds of Winning
6/6 80.5% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 13,983,816
5/6 + Bonus 5.75% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 2,330,636
5/6 4.75% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 55,492
4/6 9% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 1,033
3/6 $10 prize 1 in 56.7
2/6 + Bonus $5 prize 1 in 81.2
- Any prize 1 in 32.3

Source: OLGC[2]

If a Jackpot of $30 million dollars or higher is not won, the following Prize Structure applies to all subsequent draws until the Jackpot has been won. This does not apply to Bonus Jackpots.

Number of Matches Win Approx. Odds of Winning
6/6 40% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 13,983,816
5/6 + Bonus 16% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 2,330,636
5/6 15% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 55,492
4/6 9% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 1,033
3/6 $10 prize 1 in 56.7
2/6 + Bonus $5 prize 1 in 81.2
- Any prize 1 in 32.3

Sources