Lotto 6/49

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Lotto 6/49 is one of three national lottery games in Canada. Launched on June 12, 1982, Lotto 6/49 was the first nationwide Canadian lottery game to allow players to choose their own numbers. Previous national games, such as the Olympic Lottery, Loto Canada and Superloto used pre-printed numbers on tickets. Lotto 6/49 led to the gradual phase-out of that type of lottery game in Canada.

Winning numbers are drawn by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation every Wednesday and Saturday, executed with a Smartplay Halogen II ball machine.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

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 $5,000,000 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.

As many as ten separate "lines" (sets of numbers) can be printed on one individual ticket, but the maximum number allowed varies between jurisdictions. For example, in the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) area — Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut — no more than six lines are allowed.

The price of Lotto 6/49 tickets was raised in June 2004 from the original $1 per line to $2 per line in order to offer larger jackpots. The minimum jackpot amount was also raised from $2 million to $3 million.

Beginning with the September 18, 2013 draw, further changes were made to the game: ticket prices were raised to $3 per line, matching two numbers now awards a free ticket for the next draw, and the minimum jackpot was raised to $5 million. Additionally, a new "guaranteed" $1 million raffle prize is awarded during each drawing.[2]

Largest jackpots[edit]

Before the June 2004 increase in ticket prices, the largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot was $26.4 million, on September 2, 1995.[3]

The largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot, and the largest single jackpot in Canadian lottery history, was drawn on October 17, 2015 for a jackpot of $64 million. The jackpot was won by one ticket purchased in Mississauga, Ontario.[4]

The second largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot, and the second largest jackpot in Canadian lottery history, was $63.4 million on the draw for April 13, 2013.

The third largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot 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.[5] This was the largest Canadian lottery jackpot up to that time, and a significant increase from the previous record of $37.8 million on a Super 7 lottery draw in 2002—rapid sales created by lottery fever across the country pushed this 2005 Lotto 6/49 jackpot far beyond the originally estimated $40 million.[3]

By comparison, while the Canadian Lotto Max lottery has had a main prize pool as high as $102 million, that lottery sets a cap of $60 million for its main jackpot, with excess "main prize pool" money being applied to a series $1 million MaxMillions prizes on the same draw.

Organization[edit]

The Lotto 6/49 game is administered by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, an alliance of the five regional/provincial lottery corporations that cover all of Canada.

Each of these corporations operate a regional add-on games that, for an extra $1 each, can be added to a 6/49 ticket. This "spiel" game (named "Tag", "Encore" or "Extra" depending on the region), adds a 6- or 7-digit number to the ticket with a top prize of $100,000 if all six digits are matched or $250,000 to $1,000,000 depending on the region for a seven-number match ($1,000,000 in Ontario; $500,000 in Quebec; $250,000 in the Western Canada region of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the territories).

These corporations also run a second, smaller, "49" game (named "Atlantic 49", "Quebec 49", "Ontario 49", "Western 6/49" 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, Western 6/49 and Quebec 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 and chance of winning[edit]

Number of matches Win Probability of winning on one play
6/6 Jackpot win or Share of 79.5% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 13,983,816
5/6 + Bonus Share of 6% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 2,330,636
5/6 Share of 5% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 55,492
4/6 Share of 9.5% 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
2/6 Free Play 1 in 8.3
Guaranteed Prize Draw (10 of 10) (exact match only) $1,000,000 Variable

Overall odds of winning a prize are about 1 in 6.6, though the great majority of prizes consist of a free ticket for the next draw (a break-even scenario at best, not a win in the strictest sense).

From the 2004 price change until September 18, 2013, this table was distributed thus:

Number of matches Win Probability of winning on one play
6/6 Jackpot win or Share of 80.5% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 13,983,816
5/6 + Bonus Share of 5.75% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 2,330,636
5/6 Share of 4.75% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 55,492
4/6 Share of 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

Before July 2010, if there was no winning ticket for a jackpot of $30 million or higher, the following prize structure was applied to all subsequent draws until the jackpot was won.[6] This did not apply to bonus jackpots.

Number of matches Win Probability of winning on one play
6/6 Jackpot win or Share of 40% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 13,983,816
5/6 + Bonus Share of 16% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 2,330,636
5/6 Share of 15% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 55,492
4/6 Share of 29% 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

The probability of winning some prize in one play is 1 in 32.3.

From the game's inception until the 2004 price change, the prize pool consisted of 45% of sales, and was distributed thus:

Number of matches Win Probability of winning on one play
6/6 Jackpot win or Share of 50% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 13,983,816
5/6 + Bonus Share of 15% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 2,330,636
5/6 Share of 12% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 55,492
4/6 Share of 23% of the Pool's Fund 1 in 1,033
3/6 $10 prize 1 in 56.7

The overall odds of winning were 1 in 54.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Retrieved 2010-03-20. ILC draws are held using a Ryo-Catteau Tulipe ball machine. The ball loader can only accommodate 49 balls and the display chute only seven balls and one bonus ball. 
  2. ^ "Lotto 6/49 hikes price to $3, adds new prizes". CBC News. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b NewsStaff (2008-10-02). "Sole $35.3 Million Lottery Winner Almost Didn't Buy His Ticket". CityNews. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  4. ^ "Mississauga ticket holder wins record $64M Lotto 6/49 jackpot". CBC News. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "4 winning tickets sold for $63.4M lotto jackpot". CBC News. The Canadian Press. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  6. ^ "Lotto 6/49". Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 

External links[edit]