Lotto games are hugely popular in Canada, and wherever you live, there are a considerable number of both land-based and online facilities offering a variety of lotto games. As long as you are old enough, you can play scratch tickets, Lotto 6/49, Lotto Super 7, or any of the other provincial lottery games.
There are two major nationwide lotteries in Canada. They are Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49.
This was the first nationwide Canadian lottery game that allowed players to choose their numbers. Previously, lotto tickets would have numbers pre-printed on them.
Lotto 6/49 has paid the highest jackpot in Canada – CAD$63.4 million. Ticket prices start at CAD$3, and for this price, you choose two groups of numbers from 1 to 49. The two sets of numbers have different roles. The first set is for the main jackpot drawing, and you have to choose six different numbers. The second set allows you to choose ten numbers that are eligible for the CAD$1 million Guaranteed Prize Draw.
The minimum investment is CAD$5, and the jackpot is not set in advance. This means it increases after every draw until it’s won.
Lotto 6/49 winning numbers are drawn out every Wednesday and Saturday by the interprovincial Lottery Corporations, with the help of a Smartplay Halogen II machine.
This is a replacement for the former Lotto Super 7 game. The prize pool is considerably larger than Lotto 6/49, which is possibly why it is now considered the biggest and most popular nationwide Canadian lottery game.
To play the game, you have to choose the desired combination out of 50 numbers. Jackpots range between CAD$10 million and CAD$70 million.
The minimum investment is $5, and drawings take place on Tuesdays and Fridays. Lotto Max also includes another drawing called the MaxMillions. This is held when the main jackpot comes to CAD$50 million. All three sets of numbers you choose are included in the MaxMillions drawing.
Who Can Play the Canada Lottery?
To buy a lottery ticket legally, you have to be 18 years of age or older. Any prize you win is tax-free, whether you’re a resident or non-resident of Canada.
Buying Your Lottery Ticket
You have several options when it comes to buying your lottery ticket.
- Provincial Lotteries: Providers sell their tickets online, and you have to be in the province to buy the tickets.
- Lottery Messenger Services: When you use this service, you pay an agent in the lottery’s country of origin to pick up the tickets for you. If you win, however, you will need to collect the prize yourself. There are several different messenger services to choose from, and each operates slightly differently. The company makes its money by marking up the ticket price. They don’t take a cut of your prize money.
- Insurance Model: In this instance, the online lottery site offers virtual play slips. An underwriting company bets against anyone winning by backing up the ticket numbers with cash from an insurance pool. Some operators make their money by withholding whatever amount the lottery originator would have withheld in taxes. In comparison, others charge a nominal fee.
- Bookmaker Model: This option works much like the insurance model, but it’s a bookmaker that backs up the process rather than an insurance company. The bookmaker studies the probabilities and sets the odds. It then allows the online retailer to sell chances.
Other Lottery Gaming Options
- Lotto Daily Grand: Draws take place on Monday and Thursday, and once you purchase a ticket, you enter the competition for CAD$1,000 daily for the rest of your life. The consolation prize is CAD$25,000 a year for life. Ticket prices are CAD$3, and you have to choose two different sets of numbers: five from numbers 1 to 49 and a grand number from a range of 1 to 7.
- Daily Grand BC/49: This is a lottery for residents of British Columbia only. You’re in with the chance of winning a CAD$2 million jackpot and an extra prize of CAD$500,000. You select six numbers out of 48, one selection cost CAD$1, and you can create ten per ticket. Drawings are on Wednesday and Saturday.
- Lottario Lotto: This is a lottery that’s only valid in Ontario. Tickets are a minimum of CAD$1, and you have to choose two sets of numbers from 1 to 45. Each set of numbers is valid for two drawings, the Main Draw and the Early Bird Draw. Drawings take place on Saturdays.
- Poker Lotto: This is an excellent option if you like poker and lotto. You can either win when you buy your ticket or wait for the nightly draw. A CAD$2 ticket allows you to cash our CAD$5,000 if you have a winning hand.
- Powerball Canada: This is a well-known lottery in the US, but Canadian players can participate as well. It’s a little more expensive than Canadian lotteries, but the prizes are bigger. So far, the maximum jackpot has been a staggering CAD$1.58 billion.