The first-ever lottery draw in Ontario took place in 1975. ‘Wintario’ was a basic draw compared to today’s lottery. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) oversees national and provincial jackpot draws, scratch cards, and a wide selection of online games. Ontario has a history of big winners – including a $70 million jackpot on Lotto Max won in 2021.
This page has everything you need to enjoy the Ontario lottery. You will find details of the giant jackpot draw games below – plus the many other ways to land a windfall prize. Details on claiming prizes, responsible gambling, and the online casino and sports betting available via OLG.ca are also covered.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming is a crown corporation that oversees all forms of gambling in the province. This covers the lottery, casinos, horse racing, and charity gambling. OLG is located at Sault Ste. Marie with a separate prize office in Toronto.
You play both the big national games, and jackpot draws available in ON only. There is a busy schedule of draws. Each night Monday through Saturday sees million-dollar+ prize draws distributed. Smaller games take place multiple times daily.
If you buy lottery tickets online in Ontario, there are options for weekly subscriptions. After registering at the OLG.ca site, you get access to instant games, slots, and other forms of gaming in addition to the lottery ticket sales. There is a smartphone/iPhone app that can be downloaded from the OLG site. This lets you check your numbers and purchase tickets on the move.
The traditional option is to head to a retail outlet for your tickets. Depending on the draw, you can select your numbers – or let the terminal choose them randomly using Quick Pick.
How you claim a winning ticket from the Ontario Lottery depends on the size of the prize.
In line with other provinces, you do not have to pay tax on lottery winnings in Ontario.
As well as the popular main draws, the ON lottery provides many different forms of gambling:
There are three large national draws, which are available in all provinces.
You get three sets of seven numbers for $5 when you enter this giant national draw. You can choose your numbers for line one, or let the terminal select all three.
The jackpot starts at $10 million – and grows until won. It has a $70 million cap. To win you need to match all seven numbers to those drawn. This draw takes place every Tuesday and Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Players in Ontario have won the Lotto Max jackpot more than 75 times and have been paid out more than $5.8 billion in prizes. The most recent big winner in the province came at the end of February 2021, when a player from Sudbury claimed the $70 million jackpot prize.
Tickets for Lotto 6/49 cost $3. You get six numbers between 1 and 49. As well as that selection, each ticket includes a unique ten-digit number. One ticket will win an additional $1 million guaranteed prize alongside each draw.
The jackpot prize starts at $5 million and will continue to grow until it is won. The Lotto 6/49 draw takes place bi-weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There is a separate ‘Encore’ game, which costs an additional $1. This optional bonus game has prizes of up to $1 million.
The largest-ever jackpot prize in the history of the Lotto 6/49 is $64 million. This was won by a player from Ontario in October 2015.
Winners of the Daily Grand will win the incredible prize of $1,000 a day for the rest of their life (or claim an instant $7 million instead). Tickets cost $3. You choose five main numbers between 1 and 49, as well as a single ‘Grand’ number between 1 and 7.
Match those five numbers and the Grand number to win that life-changing jackpot prize. Match just the five numbers without the Grand Number to win the second prize of $25,000 a year for life (or a lump sum of $500,000). Draws take place every Monday and Thursday.
The busy schedule of jackpot draws in Ontario includes provincial draws. There is a mix of regular lottery games and fast-paced alternatives.
Big draws take place each night except Sunday. Some nights have both national and Ontario-only draws, giving you double the chances of scooping a big jackpot.
Draws take place at 10:30 p.m. ET:
Instant win scratch tickets can be purchased at lottery retail outlets. There are electronic versions of these games via the OLG website.
Retail scratch tickets have varied prices from $1 to $30. Many of them have million-dollar jackpots. The examples below are taken from different ends of the price range:
Before purchasing retail scratch tickets, it can be an idea to do some research online. On the Ontario Lottery website, you will find lists of all the unclaimed prizes. This shows how many major prizes are still available for each type of ticket.
Instant games are the electronic equivalent of retail scratch tickets. Many of them are 1-for-1 copies of the physical cards, which you virtually ‘scratch’ to match prizes. You can buy $10, $20, and $30 cards – or choose your stake in the many instant games.
Some are themed. For example, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘The Price is Right’ instant games. Others have entertaining and quirky takes on popular culture. Examples here include ‘Emoti Collect’ and the ‘Battleship’ games. Still, other options include bingo or keno-style play with the scratch ticket concept.
Many of the slots are online versions of the popular games from live casinos in Ontario. You will find Cleopatra, 88 Fortunes, Quick Hit, and Da Vinci Diamonds games online. Some slots have giant progressive jackpots – including the linked ‘MegaJackpots’ games from IGT.
Table games include multiple versions of blackjack, roulette, and a mix of poker themed games such as Ultimate Texas Hold’em and 3 Card Poker. Bingo, keno also are also featured. Video poker has its section. This includes access to ‘Game King’ terminals, which include nine popular variations. There are separate multi-hand games too.
Big prizes are won regularly in this online casino. You can see a list of recent winners here and across all the formats on the OLG website.
The Pro-Line sports betting portal is available through OLG. Betting is covered by the two outcomes rule, though many different games work within this constraint.
The responsible gaming program run by the Ontario Lottery Corporation is called ‘Play Smart’. This is designed to protect those people that may have or develop gambling problems. It provides education, including videos, on the signs of problems. There are also guides on how to play different games, etiquette (for live gambling), and strategies.
You can set budget and time limits — or enter voluntary self-exclusion if needed. Links and phone numbers for organizations that can help are also provided. This includes resources for friends and family members that may be concerned.
A staggering $55 billion has been provided to good causes in Ontario since the first lottery draw in 1975. OLG has a ‘Corporate Social Responsibility‘ mandate. This means they aim to provide positive social benefits for everyone involved in running and playing the lottery and other forms of gaming.
Money raised is split between the government, host communities, and local charities. There is also a commitment to funding the reduction in problem gambling. Examples of specific areas that receive funding are hospitals, amateur sports, and strengthening relationships with local indigenous communities.
Ontario residents have a huge choice of lottery draws, scratch tickets and online casino options. The big national draws have been won in Ontario many times — with some life-changing jackpot prizes awarded. You can also win jackpots in ON-only draws, via instant games, or through the legal online slots provided by OLG.
Best of all, the money raised by OLG stays in Ontario — supporting community organizations, education, and the environment.