Lotto 6/49

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Lotto 6/49 is one of Canada's two national lottery games. Winning numbers are drawn by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation every Wednesday and Saturday. 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.

Contents

Gameplay

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 $3,000,000 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, the 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 $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.

Largest jackpots

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 Canadian record was $37.8 million for a Lotto Super 7 draw on May 17, 2002.

The $54.3 million jackpot was originally estimated at $40 million, but because of rapid sales created by lottery fever across the country, the jackpot 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 were: 5, 11, 20, 30, 37, 43 and bonus 31.

The second-largest jackpot in history, estimated at $50.3 million, was drawn on February 21, 2009. The winning numbers were 11, 20, 33, 34, 37, 39, and bonus 22. There were four winning tickets: three in Ontario and one in Quebec.

Organization

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 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 the region), which adds a 6- or 7-digit number to the ticket with a top prize of $100,000 if all six digits are matched or $1,000,000 (in Ontario; $500,000 in Quebec) if all 7 are matched. The other is the "49" game (named "Atlantic 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 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

Number of MatchesWinProbability of Winning on a $2 play
6/6Share of 80.5% of the Pool's Fund1 in 13,983,816
5/6 + BonusShare of 5.75% of the Pool's Fund1 in 2,330,636
5/6Share of 4.75% of the Pool's Fund1 in 55,492
4/6Share of 2.75% of the Pool's Fund1 in 1,033
3/6$10 prize1 in 56.7
2/6 + Bonus$5 prize1 in 81.2
-Any prize1 in 32.3

If a jackpot of $30 million or higher is not won, the following prize structure applies to all subsequent draws until the jackpot has been won.[1] This does not apply to bonus jackpots.

Number of MatchesWinProbability of Winning on a $2 play
6/6Share of 40% of the Pool's Fund1 in 13,983,816
5/6 + BonusShare of 16% of the Pool's Fund1 in 2,330,636
5/6Share of 15% of the Pool's Fund1 in 55,492
4/6Share of 29% of the Pool's Fund1 in 1,033
3/6$10 prize1 in 56.7
2/6 + Bonus$5 prize1 in 81.2
-Any prize1 in 32.3

Draws are held weekly on Wednesday and Saturday, executed with a Ryo-Catteau Tulipe ball machine by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Lotto 6/49". Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. http://www.olg.ca/lotteries/games/howtoplay.do?game=lotto649. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  2. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. http://www.olg.ca/lotteries/draws_faq.jsp. 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." 

External links