Alberta’s lottery is run by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC). This gives you access to the big prize national draws — and others that are only for residents of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. You can buy tickets for the draws online — and enjoy second chance games for retail scratch cards online. Sports betting is also available, via the Sport Select service.
This page has you covered for getting the best from the Alberta Lottery. There is a general overview of your Alberta lottery online and retail options below — followed by a detailed look at the draws available. Those alternative ways to gamble and the rich history of the Western Province lotteries are also covered.
How the Alberta online lottery works
Draws with huge prizes take place Monday through Saturday. Alberta residents get to enjoy the biggest national draws — Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, and the Daily Grand. Western Canada specific draws also have multi-million-dollar prize pools. They include the Western Max, the Western 6/49, Poker Lotto, pick games, and keno.
You can buy tickets from retail outlets or online — via the WCLC portal. Electronic ticket purchases are available. What the Alberta lottery does differently is to expand the subscription options to include purchases by phone or letter. You can choose to have tickets mailed to you — or keep things electronic — depending on your comfort level with the technology.
Alongside purchases for single draws and subscriptions, you can buy packs — covering entry into multiple big money draws. Examples include the $20 triple pack, which covers the 3 big national draws, along with their ‘Extra’ options.
Here are the games offered via the WCLC:
- National and Western Canada Draws: These provide ways to become a millionaire six days a week.
- Poker Lotto: This game uses playing cards in a lotto format, you win big by making a royal flush.
- Daily Pick/Keno Games: Instead of waiting for the next draw, you can enjoy instant pick and keno-style games.
- Zing Games: These are the instant scratch tickets in Alberta. Many come with big prizes.
- E-Play Scratch Cards: Specific retail Zing cards come with QR codes, allowing you to enter second-chance games online.
- Sports Select: Wagering on 2+ matches is allowed, via the WCLC portal.
If you are lucky enough to win a prize — how you claim it will depend on the amount won. Wins up to $1,000 can be claimed at retail outlets. Wins up to $9,999 can be claimed either by mail or in person at offices in Calgary and St. Albert. $10,000+ must be claimed in person in St. Albert. Note that you will need to make appointments before you travel.
Alberta Lottery: Multi-provincial draw games
There are three big lottery draws that take place in all provinces. These draws have giant jackpots, and have been won in Alberta many times:
- Lotto Max: Tickets cost $5 for each of the bi-weekly draws each Tuesday and Friday. You get three sets of seven numbers between one and 50. You can choose one set yourself, or have the terminal select them all. To win the jackpot you need to match all seven numbers. The jackpot prizes start at $10 million but can rise to a huge $70 million. Prizes start when you match at least three numbers, starting with a free ticket, rising to a percentage of the overall prize fund. In October 2019, an Alberta player from Calgary won an incredible $65 million.
- Lotto 6/49: A ticket to the Lotto 6/49 costs $3. As the name suggests, you pick six numbers from 49. You also get a unique ten-digit Guaranteed Prize Draw To win the jackpot you need to match all six numbers. The minimum jackpot prize is $5 million. The prize keeps growing until won. The largest-ever payout for this draw is $64 million. There is at least one winner of $1 million for each draw. In 2005, a group of oil and gas plant workers in Camrose, Alberta managed a collective win of $54.3 million. At the time, this was the largest win ever seen in Canada. Lotto 6/49 draws are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. MT.
- The Daily Grand: If you are lucky enough to match all the numbers in this bi-weekly draw, you get $1,000 every day for the rest of your life. Alternatively, you could take a lump sum of $7 million. Tickets cost $3 for each draw. You choose five numbers between 1 and 49, as well as a single ‘Grand Number’ between 1 and 7. Match all five numbers and the Grand number to win the big prize. If you match all five main numbers without the grand number, you get $25,000 a year for life. Daily Grand draws take place every Monday and Thursday at approximately 8:30 p.m. MT.
Western Canada Lottery Corporation Lotteries across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
As well as the nationwide games, the WCLC also offers lottery draws for residents of the three Western Canada provinces they cover. Here is a look at each of those draws:
- Western Max: Tickets to the Western Max draw cost $2. This draw involves three sets of seven numbers between 1 and 50. You can choose one of the selections, and the terminal will select the other two. The top prize for this draw is $2 million if you are lucky enough to match all seven numbers. You can add ‘Extra’ to the slip for your chance to win a $250,000 top prize or $ 100,000-second prize alongside each draw. The Western Max draw takes place every Tuesday and Friday at 8:30 p.m. MT.
- Western 6/49: To play the Western 6/49 it will cost you just $1. This draw uses the popular lottery format, with six numbers from forty-nine on each line. The top prize for this draw, like the Western Max, is $2 million. You can add ‘Extra’ to this draw too, for the chance of those $250,000 and $100,000 prizes. The Western 6/49 draws take place every Wednesday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. MT.
Daily draw games in Alberta
In addition to the draws, there are instant/daily games available at retail outlets in Alberta:
- Poker Lotto and All In: This is effectively two games in one and comes at the cost of $2 per ‘hand’. As your ticket is being printed, it will reveal five playing cards. If you make a poker hand of a pair of Jacks or better, you win an instant prize. The top instant prize is a Royal Flush — this will net you $10,000. Add an ‘All In’ extra bet and you could win even more for your made hand. The second game sees five playing cards drawn at random and if you match all 5 cards with yours you win an instant prize of $100,000. The draw for this game takes place nightly.
- Pick Games: Pick games are described as daily number games — players can try to Pick 2, Pick 3, or Pick 4. Each of these games has a different format. For example, if you play Pick 2, you pick a pair of numbers between 0 and 9 and have the chance to win $99 if both numbers come in. If playing Pick 4, you get added awards if you hit the 4 numbers in the exact order of the draw.
- Keno: In keno lottery games you can choose how many numbers you want to play (any number between 1 and 10) and the amount you want to wager. If you pick the maximum 10 numbers and all the numbers are selected, you win the maximum prize of $100,000. Keno draws take place every five minutes.
Alberta Lottery draw schedule
Big draws take place every night except Sunday in Alberta. Some nights have both national and Western Canada draws, giving you double the chances of scooping that big jackpot.
Draws take place at 8:30 each evening, MT.
- Monday: Daily Grand
- Tuesday: Lotto Max, Western Max
- Wednesday: Lotto 6/49, Western 6/49
- Thursday: Daily Grand
- Friday: Lotto Max, Western Max
- Saturday: Lotto 6/49, Western 6/49
Zing Scratch ‘N Win Cards on the Alberta Lottery
Residents of Alberta can enjoy Zing (Scratch ‘N Win) scratch cards. The cost of these scratch cards varies. The lowest-priced cards cost $1, while at the top end there are games that cost as much as $30.
Each of the scratch cards will have its theme and rules. For example, the $20 ‘200x Multiplier’ scratch card offers ten top prizes of $2 million with a total prize pool of $150 million. At the other end of the spectrum, you could play the $1 Lotto Emoji game with a top prize of $10,000.
If you are playing scratch cards in Alberta, you can pay to do some research. Head to the WCLC website and you can see all the prize tiers for each of the Zing scratch cards. This will show exactly how many tickets there are left in each of the tiers. This lets you find the tickets with the most jackpot prizes as a proportion of the total cards in circulation. While it can’t guarantee you will find a winning ticket, you can at least tip the odds in your favour.
Alberta Lottery: The Spin Win scratch cards
Two scratch cards in Alberta have added a new concept to lottery games. If you purchase the Big Spin or the Bigger Spin tickets — you have a shot at some big top prizes. These cards have jackpots of $500,000 and $1,00,000 respectively.
However, if you are lucky enough to uncover a ‘Spin Win’ symbol, you will find yourself with an exciting extra. You can now head to a lottery retailer and spin a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ style wheel. This is animated on the lottery terminal. If you land a ‘Big Spin’ or ‘Bigger Spin’ this time around, you automatically win $10,000. Best of all, it comes with an invitation to an event to spin a wheel for even bigger prizes.
Second Chance E-Play Cards on the Alberta Lottery
Some of the scratch cards available at retail outlets have an E-Play option. You buy these scratch cards as usual – and will enjoy the different themes and ways to win. The E-Play gives you a second shot at winning. Scratch the e-play area on the card and it will reveal either a QR code or an access code.
Scan the QR code with your device or enter the access code on the WCLC lottery portal. This gives you access to a new part of the game that is played online. You now have a chance of winning extra prizes — which can be collected at retail outlets.
Sports betting via the lottery in Alberta
As well as the lottery draws and the scratch cards, the Alberta Lottery allows you to access online sports betting. This uses the Sport Select system. Following the link from the WCLC website gives you access to 5 different formats for betting on sports. The usual 2 match minimum for bets in Canada applies:
- Pro-Line: Choose whether the games will be won by the home team or the visitors (tie options are sport-dependent).
- Over/Under: Choose whether the total number of goals/runs/points in a game is over or under a given total.
- Point Spread: The point spread is added to even up a game to make it a 50/50 contest (the favourite will have points deducted to achieve this). Make your pick from the home team or visitors.
- Pools: Choose your winner in a given contest and enter a pool. The fewer selections that agree with your verdict, the more you win.
- Prop Bets: These are picks based on events within a game. For example, you might decide that one running back in football will achieve more yards than another.
Bets start at $2 per double-selection. Maximum bets are $100, giving you plenty of chances to win big if your parlay comes in.
History of the lottery in Alberta
In 1969, an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada saw lotteries and sweepstakes authorized. The first ticket ever sold in Alberta was in 1975, for ‘The Western’ draw. Players in Alberta have been extremely successful in landing big jackpot prizes.
In 2019, a report declared that players from Alberta had won the Lotto Max draw 125 times, for total win amounts of more than $800 million. There have been at least five instances of a ticket from Alberta landing a prize of $50 million or more. The largest windfall in Alberta history is the $65 million on the Lotto Max in 2019.
Responsible gaming and the Alberta Lottery
You will find information about problem gambling on the WCLC website via the ‘For Players’ menu under ‘Responsible Play’. This takes you to a page explaining gambling myths, providing advice on keeping things as a game, and giving you links and phone numbers for help.
While not as detailed as the Responsible Gaming pages in other provincial lotteries, there are plenty of links to organizations that do provide more detailed guides.
Wrapping up: Lottery gaming in Alberta
While there are no online-only options such as casino games or poker in Alberta — the lottery does give you plenty of options. You can buy tickets via subscription for the national draws including Lotto Max, the Daily Grand, and Lotto 6/49. You can also participate in Western Canada draws with big prize pools.
Zing scratch cards give you ways to win big — alongside 2nd chance online games for additional prizes. Add to this poker draw style games, keno and sports betting, and there are plenty of options.
Check out the WCLC lottery portal today — and see how big those jackpot pools have become!