Lotto 6/49’s jackpot just got even bigger.
To celebrate the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation’s 40th anniversary, the Crown corporation has announced sweeping changes to its nationwide lottery game. Players will now have the opportunity to win two multi-million-dollar jackpot prizes with each ticket purchase.
Despite the change, prices remain untouched at $3 per play. However, now the main Classic Draw jackpot will be fixed at $5 million.
Meanwhile, the Gold Ball Jackpot Draw guarantees a $1 million winner for each draw alongside a growing jackpot that starts at $10 million. It can exceed $60 million.
Changes take effect Sept. 14. OLG president and CEO Duncan Hannay said he was excited about the prospect of ushering in a new era.
“What better way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic Lotto 6/49 lottery than by bringing more excitement to our players with the new growing Gold Ball Jackpot Draw, while maintaining some of the classic Lotto 6/49 features players love.”
Lotto 6/49 tickets to feature two sets of digits
Moving forward, punters will receive a ticket with two sets of numbers. One set – consisting of 6 double-digit numbers – represents the Classic Draw. The second combination – 10-digits in total – is for the Gold Ball Draw.
Draws will occur on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
But depending on what set of numbers patrons have, the financial windfall could vary considerably.
Gold Ball Draw has jackpot up to $68 million
Regardless, what all bettors will have their eyes on will be the Gold Ball Draw. The draw guarantees a (minimum) $1 million winner each time.
But it’s the progressive jackpot that is most intriguing.
Here’s how it works:
- 30 balls are inserted into a draw machine.
- 29 of them are white – each valued at $1million; one is golden – priced at $10 million.
- If a white ball is drawn, the player wins $1 million and the ball is removed from the machine.
- Each time a white ball is drawn, and the gold ball isn’t, $2 million more is added to the Gold Ball Jackpot. That means the maximum amount a player could win is $68 million. In this instance, all 29 white balls would have been selected prior to the Gold Ball.
- Once the Gold Ball is selected, all 30 balls are put back into the draw machine – and the Gold Ball Jackpot resets at $10 million.
Classic Draw jackpot fixed at $5 million
Unlike its counterpart, the Classic Draw, essentially remains unchanged and stays true to its traditional playing style. Six double-digit numbers are chosen from 1-49.
Punters, as always, can ask for a quick pick or select their own numbers. The lone difference is the Classic Draw jackpot is now fixed at $5 million per draw.
According to OLG, odds of winning the Classic Draw remain the same at 1 in 13,983,816.
Special “clear out” draw set for Saturday
Next Wednesday’s draw will kick off the new Lotto 6/49 format with the $10 million Gold Ball Jackpot prize up for grabs. However, prior to that, one last draw – on Saturday (Sept.10) – of the current Lotto 6/49 system awaits.
There is a caveat though. Saturday’s occasion is considered a “special draw” as it is being called a “clear-out of all jackpot prizing.” Essentially, OLG is ensuring there will be no carry-over from the Sept. 10 draw to the Sept. 14 event. Everything must go before the new format takes over. For that reason, the jackpot will be awarded to any player who has the matching six numbers.
However, in the event there is no winning ticket, the jackpot amount will be divided amongst winners in the following categories:
Loto-Quebec postpones Lotto 6/49 launch due to workers’ strike
Unfortunately, not all Canadians will be able to get in on the fun.
Loto-Quebec recently announced it will be postponing its Lotto 6/49 draws following the Sept. 10 event due to the pending unlimited general strike set to occur in the French-speaking province.
In late August, 72% of Loto-Quebec workers voted against a new collective agreement citing insufficient salary increases as its main concern. As a result, the Crown corporation said it couldn’t guarantee the “smooth roll-out” of the game, opting to reschedule its launch.
Worse yet, Loto-Quebec said it won’t be able to offer the game in its current format since all the other provinces are transitioning to the new version.
Lotto 6/49’s impact over the years
Despite the economic blow, Lotto 6/49 has grown to become one of Canada’s most well-known lottery games. According to OLG, since its creation in 1982, it has generated more than $66 billion in sales including $33 billion in prizing.
In total, there have been 1.6 billion winners over the past four decades. OLG said 100% of proceeds are reinvested to support Ontario’s provincial priorities.