Lotto 6/49 is one of three national lotteries in Canada and is played across the country. It was first launched in 1982, at which point it attracted a great deal of publicity by becoming the first Canadian lottery to let players choose their own numbers.
Intro to the Lotto 6/49
Lotteries had existed in Canada for many years prior to this, but players could only purchase pre-printed tickets. In a sense, these tickets operated more like scratch cards than modern lottery tickets, but the popularity of Lotto 649 in those early days helped to phase this old way of playing out and these days you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Canadian lottery that doesn’t let you choose your own numbers.
How Much Does a Lotto 649 Line Cost?
Lotto 649 costs $3,75 to play, with players choosing a set of numbers from 1 to 49. The name “Lotto 649” actually comes from the format, as players choose “6” numbers from a possible “49”.
This is a format that has been used on many other major lotteries and one that can be found from the United States to the UK and Australia. It offers a much higher chance of success than higher-number formats and is perfectly suited to games that have a regional or national following.
Tickets to the Lotto 649 used to cost a little less than they do now and up to 2004 they were just $1 per line, but they went from $2 and then $3 in order to increase competition and to ensure the ticket price was in line with similar lotteries. It also helped to improve the average weekly jackpot.
When is the Lotto 649 Draw?
The Lotto 649 draw takes place every Wednesday and Saturday, with tickets available for purchase up to half an hour before the draws.
Where Does the Lotto 649 Draw Take Place?
Lotto 649 is organized by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, which is owned by the five separate lottery organizations in Canada. This organization was established in 1976 and oversees most lottery games in Canada, including Lotto Max, Millionaire Life, and Daily Grand.
Lotto 649 vs EuroMillions
The main jackpot on Lotto 6/49 begins at $5 million, but there is also a guaranteed prize of $1 million paid out in every daw. This means that at least 2 millionaires are created every week on this national lottery, and players who play every draw have a chance of being one of those winners.
EuroMillions offers something similar, known as the Millionaire Maker, but this is only available to players in a few countries and cannot be played online. EuroMillions has much higher jackpots every week, and it also has a higher maximum, but the odds of winning this are ten times lower than the odds of winning the Lotto /49, as discussed in more detail further down.
What are the Odds of Winning the Lotto 649?
Lotto 6/49 has very favorable odds when compared to many transnational lotteries and US lotteries. The odds of winning the jackpot on this Canadian lottery are 1 in 13.9 million. While high, these are roughly 1/10th of the odds of EuroMillions and less than 1/20th of the odds of the Mega Millions and Powerball.
Of course, the aforementioned lotteries have much bigger prize pools, but Lotto 6/49 is still an appealing prospect for players seeking lower odds and respectable prize totals.
The current table of odds for the Lotto 6/49 are as follows:
- Jackpot = 1 in 13,983,816
- Second Prize = 1 in 2,330,636
- Third Prize = 1 in 55,492
- Fourth Prize = 1 in 1,033
- Fifth Prize = 1 in 56,7
- Sixth Prize = 1 in 81,2
- Seventh Prize = 1 in 8,3
The odds for the Guaranteed Prize Draw change from draw to draw as they are entirely dependent on how many players have purchased tickets.
In years gone by the odds of winning any prize on the Lotto 6/49 were as high as 1 in 54, as there were no prizes for players who got 2 numbers, whether they had the bonus ball or not. These days the odds of winning any prize are roughly 1 in 6.6. This means that if you purchase 7 tickets then the odds are high that you will win a prize on at least one of these.
Lotto 6/49 Prize Structure
There are 6 main numbers and 1 bonus number drawn on the Lotto 6/49. The jackpot goes to the player or players who match all 6 main numbers, with the second highest prize going to players who match 5 main numbers and the bonus number.
If the jackpot is not won then it rolls over and will continue to roll over until it is won. The second prize typically pays between $100,000 and $500,000, and as is the case with the jackpot, it is split if there are multiple winners.
The full Lotto 6/49 prize structure is as follows:
- 6 Numbers = Jackpot
- 5 Numbers + Bonus Ball = 6% of Prize Fund
- 5 Numbers = 5% of Prize Fund
- 4 Numbers = 4% of Prize Fund
- 3 Numbers + Bonus Ball = $10
- 2 Numbers + Bonus Ball = $5
- 2 Numbers = Free Play
There is also the Guaranteed Prize Draw, which all ticket-holders are entered into. This is where the guaranteed $1 million prize comes into play.
Biggest Lotto 649 Jackpots
With its modest player numbers and respectable odds, the Lotto 649 jackpot rarely climbs as high as lotto jackpots south of the border in the United States. However, it can still reach a staggering sum and these sums have only increased over the years thanks to the slight increase in the price of a ticket.
The highest the Lotto 649 has ever been was $64 million back in 2015. This was the largest ever Canadian lottery jackpot and it went to a single ticket-holder in Ontario. This sum only slightly beat the previous jackpot record of $63.4 million, which was claimed back in 2013.
There have been many more big wins on the Lotto 649 over the years, including a $54 million jackpot that was claimed in 2005 by a syndicate of 17 oil and gas workers. This jackpot was the biggest ever win at the time, but today it stands as the third highest ever Canadian jackpot win.
The Lotto Max lottery has prize pools that are much higher than the Lotto 649, but it doesn’t come close to beating the Lotto 6/49’s records as it has jackpot cap of $60 million, with the rest of the money being used to beef-up secondary prizes.