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Updated September-29-18

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Lottery Facts and Figures

September 29, 2018 - UK Lotto "must win jackpot"
The C$44 million UK Lotto jackpot for the October 3 draw is a "must win jackpot". This is the first such draw since December 2017. Since the UK Lotto game is changing in November, this will probably be the last "must win jackpot" draw for a jackpot this large. After the game changes in November, the "must win jackpots" will be much smaller. In the last "must win jackpot" draw, the payout was 162% - that is, a positive expected value.

January 3, 2018 - Lotto 649 multiple jackpot wins
The Lotto 649 jackpot was won four draws in a row. In two of the draws, there were two winning tickets for a total of 6 winning tickets in four draws. In three of the draws, the jackpot was underfunded from sales and the Guaranteed Prize Fund deficit was increased by $7 million to a record deficit of $79 million.

October 13, 2017 - Lotto 649 sales continue to drop
The downward sales trend for Lotto 649 continues. The $15.4 million jackpot for the October 11 draw set a new record low for a jackpot after 4 rolls. Attempts to boost sales via bonus jackpots and prizes have been unsuccessful.

October 8, 2017 - Euro Millions Super Draw
The Euro Millions Super Draw for the September 15 draw started at €130 million and rolled 6 times to reach the €190 million cap for 2 draws. The jackpot was won by one ticket sold in Spain in the October 6 draw.

September 24, 2017 - Wrong number of Maxmillions awarded
The jackpot and Maxmillions for the September 22 Lotto Max draw were under funded from sales by $1 million. This was due to an error in calculating the number of Maxmillions awarded. Sales only supported 14 Maxmillions but 15 were awarded. This is the second time this year a mistake was made calculating the number of Maxmillions. It is surprising the number of times these types of errors occur.

February 4, 2017 - Record low Lotto Max sales
Sales for the February 3, 2017 Lotto Max draw were $58.1 million. This was the lowest sales ever for a $60 million jackpot. The number of Maxmillions was 13.

January 28, 2017 - Wrong number of Maxmillions awarded
The jackpot and Maxmillions for the January 27 Lotto Max draw were under funded from sales by $1 million. This was due to an error in calculating the number of Maxmillions awarded. Sales only supported 4 Maxmillions but 5 were awarded. It is surprising the number of times these types of errors occur.

January 13, 2017 - Euro Millions
The Euro Millions jackpot rolled 5 times in a row for the first time since the game was changed in September 2016. This is surprising since the change included raising the odds of winning the jackpot and increasing the ticket price. The S groups may soon be buying tickets.

December 17, 2016 - Smallest Powerball jackpot
The Powerball jackpot for the December 17, 2016 draw reached $119 million and was won. This was the smallest jackpot that was won since the Powerball odds were changed in October 2015. Prior to this win, the average Powerball jackpot reached $515 million when won.

October 9, 2016 - Continued low Lotto 649 sales
The general trend of lower Lotto 649 sales resulting in smaller jackpots continues. Four new consecutive records were set for low jackpots after 2, 3, 4 and 5 rolls. The record low jackpots were $9.2 million, $12.6 million, $16.3 million and $20.5 million respectively. They were set on four consecutive draws starting with the September 28, 2016 draw.

September 19, 2016 - All jackpots won
The jackpots for all the games we play were won on the same weekend - Lotto Max, Lotto 649, Mega Millions, Powerball and Euro Millions. This was very unusual and probably the first time it has happened.

September 7, 2016 - Lotto 649 record low sales
Sales for the Lotto 649 September 7 draw set a new record low of $13,344,396. The previous record low was $13.5 million. The Monday prior to the draw was Labor Day. Wednesday sales after a holiday Monday are typically lower than average. But since a series of bonus draws were just held to boost sales, it appears the slow and steady decline in Lotto 649 sales is continuing. The jackpot was under funded from sales by $2.2 million placing the Guaranteed Prize Fund at a record deficit of $46.6 million.

June 25, 2016 - Record number of Mega Millions jackpot rolls
As of the June 28 Mega Millions draw, the jackpot rolled an unprecedented 31 times in a row. The previous record was 21 rolls set when the jackpot was won in the Dec 17, 2013 draw. Even more unusual is the fact the current Mega Milllions jackpot reached a cash value of only U$265.4 million whereas the previous 21 rolls resulted in a much larger jackpot with a cash value of U$347.6 million.

April 6, 2016 - Lotto 649 Birthday Numbers
The winning numbers for the Lotto 649 draw on April 6, 2016 were all birthday numbers. That is, all the numbers were 31 or less. Since these numbers are popular among players, there was a record 8 winning jackpot tickets worth a prize of $1.6 million - the lowest ever Lotto 649 jackpot prize. The previous record number of winning tickets was 6. Also, since 5 of the regular numbers were under 14, all of the parimutuel prizes were much lower than average. The 5+B prize was a record low $10,325. The previous record low was $21,965 and the average prize is $155,941. The match 4 prize was a record low $31.60 - the previous record low was $33.40 with an average prize of $80. The match 5 prize was $412.50 compared to the average prize of $2,365.

Feb 11, 2016 - Lotto 649 Superdraw
The Lotto 649 draw on February 13 is a Super Draw with 14 guaranteed prizes of $100,000 each. For those players that subscribe to Western Canada Lottery's jackpot alerts, your jackpot alert email for the February 13 draw does not mention these extra prizes. Defeats the purpose of subscribing to this service when they do not include important information.


Oct 25, 2015 - Lotto 649 Records
The Lotto 649 draw on October 17 set a couple of big all time records. It was the first time the jackpot rolled 11 times in a row. In fact, the 10 rolls in a row was also a record. The $64 million jackpot was the largest ever jackpot for any game. The previous highest Lotto 649 jackpot was $63.4 million set in April 2013 after 9 rolls. The largest ever Lotto Max jackpot is $60 million - which is also the game's cap.

To boost sales, the jackpot was set at $64 million even though sales were not expected to support such a large jackpot. The tactic worked and sales were almost double from the previous draw. Approximately $3.5 million from the Guaranteed Prize Fund was used to support the jackpot but sales were so high, about $4.2 million (7% of sales) was added to the Guaranteed Prize Fund. The fund is also used to support the $1 million guaranteed prize awarded at each draw. So after the draw, the Guaranteed Prize Fund was reduced only slightly to a deficit of $23.5 million.

July 5, 2015 - Lotto Max Calculation Error
The Lotto Max jackpot for the July 3, 2015 draw was over funded from sales by $399,904. But an extra $578,757 million was added to the 6+B prize category - a discrepancy of $178,853 (an apparent calculation error by a lottery employee).

July 2, 2015 - Change in Time of Draws
Starting July 12, Lotto Max and Lotto 649 draws will be moved to 10:30 pm Eastern Time from the current 9:00 pm. This will give more time to join a group on the day of the draw. Please keep in mind though, there is no promise or guarantee requests to join a group will be processed in time for the draw. The sooner a request to join a group is submitted, the better the chance of getting in on time.

June 7, 2015 - Lotto Max Records
The June 5 Lotto Max draw set three records. It was the first time the jackpot rolled 10 times in a row, the first time the jackpot was $50 million 7 times in a row and 4 was the largest number of jackpot winning tickets.


April 4, 2015 - Six winning Lotto 649 jackpot tickets
There were 6 winning jackpot tickets for the April 1, 2015 Lotto 649 draw. This was very unusual. Over the past 21 years, there was only one other instance where there was more than 5 winning jackpot tickets. That occurred in September 1995 where there were 8 winning tickets. In that instance, a total of 19.5 million tickets were sold compared to only 8.5 million tickets for the April 1 draw. Interestingly, one week prior to the draw with the record 8 winning tickets was the Lotto 649 draw with a record 81.7 million tickets sold. In that draw, there were only 4 winning tickets.

The probability of 6 or more winning tickets when 8.5 million randomly selected tickets are sold is 0.001% (or 1 in 984,038). Even though most lottery tickets consist of randomly selected numbers, many are not. The main reason there were so many winning tickets in the recent draw was the winning numbers were all low. When players pick their own numbers, they often favor lower numbers. Many players pick numbers associated with birthdays. When the winning numbers are all 31 or less, there is a better chance of multiple jackpot winners. For the April 1 draw, the 6 winning numbers were all less than 25.

February 23, 2015 - $50 million Lotto Max jackpots in 2014
There were a total of twelve $50 Lotto Max jackpots in 2014 This was two more than the previous year but still far less than the average of 14 for the previous 4 years.

Feb 5, 2015 - Lots of large jackpots
In January 2015, the groups won $2,628 and 466 free tickets in four Lotto 649 draws and $1,231 and 144 free tickets in two Lotto Max draws for a total value of $5,977. There were also 6 new entries this month in the list of the largest jackpots - 2 for Lotto 649, 2 for Lotto Max and 1 each for Mega Millions and Powerball.

Jan 1, 2015 - New Year's Eve Mega da Virada Draw
The Mega da Virada jackpot reached a record R$263.2 million ($114 million CDN) for the December 31, 2014 draw. The jackpot was won - 4 winning tickets. Sales also hit a new record at R$871 million. The draw is held every New Year's eve and the game was first launched in 2009.

May 6, 2014 - Ohio Classic Lotto with record jackpot and record payout
The Classic Lotto jackpot reached a record $69.3 million giving a payout of 173%.

A Canadian lottery game will probably never reach a payout of 173% but it would be interesting to see how big a jackpot would have to be to reach a payout of 173%.

Take the Lotto 649 game for example. The largest sales to date for the game were $32 million when the jackpot was advertised at $40 million. Assuming the same sales, the jackpot would have to be $88.5 million for the payout to be 173%. That is more than twice as large as the current largest jackpot of $40 million. With such a large jackpot, it would be easy to assume that sales would be at least 50% higher. So with sales of $48 million, the Lotto 649 jackpot would have to be $105 million to have a 173% payout.

For the Lotto Max game, since the jackpot is capped at $50 million, the question is how many Maxmillions are needed. The record sales for the game were $125 million and they occurred shortly after the game was launched and there were 45 Maxmillions. This was the first time the number of Maxmillions exceeded 27. Assuming the same sales of $125 million, to reach a payout of 173%, a total of 277 Maxmillions are needed. It is safe to say, this will never happen.

Even though it is an extreme long shot, if a record 173% payout every happens with a Canadian game, it would be with Lotto 649.

May 4, 2014 - Low numbers and patterns produce low payouts
Two more examples where playing low numbers or patterns produces smaller payouts.

For the April 26, 2014, Lotto 649 draw, all seven winning numbers were birthday numbers. As a result, the match 4, match 5 and match 5+ prizes all set record lows and a record high number of winning tickets for the match 5+ prize. The 3 respective prizes with the average prize in parentheses were $45 ($79), $994 ($2,331) and $21,965 ($147,156).

For the May 3, 2014, Lotto 649 draw, the six winning numbers were patterned after the numbers 7 and 11. In the game of craps, the numbers 7 and 11 are significant. The number of match 4, match 5 and match 6 (jackpot) winning tickets each set a new record high. These are significant records given sales were only $17 million versus record sales of $32 million. The match 4 and match 5 prizes also set new record lows. The 2 respective prizes with the average prize in parentheses were $33 ($78) and $331 ($2,293).

March 15, 2014 - Record high Lotto Max payout
The March 14, 2014 Lotto Max draw had a jackpot of $50 million plus 50 Maxmillions. This was only the 5th draw with 50 Maxmillions and experienced the lowest sales of the 5 draws at $67.8 million. The low sales helped set a new record high payout for Lotto Max of 76%.

January 12, 2014 - Guaranteed Prize Fund depleted
The $1 million guaranteed prizes for the new $3 Lotto 649 game are paid out from the Guaranteed Prize Fund, which in turn is funded from 7% of sales. On average, the fund receives around $1.4 million per draw. This is more than enough to fund the $1 million prize. The rest of the money is used to support minimum jackpot levels and bonus draws. For example, the bonus draw on December 25, 2013 offered 4 additional guaranteed prizes of $1 million each. Prior to that draw, the fund reached a record $8.2 million. In the previous 4 Lotto 649 draws, the jackpot was won at the $5 million starting level and was funded with a total of $7 million. This has placed the Guaranteed Prize Fund in the negative by $2 million. The jackpot has been funded a total of 6 times - once at the $40 million level and five times at the $5 million level.

January 8, 2014 - $50 million Lotto Max jackpots in 2013
For the first nine months of 2103, there were only two $50 Lotto Max jackpots. But with 8 large Lotto Max jackpots in the remaining 3 months, the year ended with a total of ten $50 million jackpots. This was still far behind the average of 15 large jackpots per year for the previous 3 years.

November 16, 2013 - Lotto Max bonus jackpots
Sales for Lotto Max have decreased this year because of the fewer than normal $50 million jackpots. For the first 9 months, there were only 2 large jackpots (see below for October 1 note). To boost sales, the Lotto Max jackpot was increased from $32 million to $50 million plus $2 million for the November 22 draw. There was also a bonus jackpot last month when the jackpot went from $30 million to $50 million plus $2 million for the October 18 draw. Last month's bonus jackpot did not need funding from the bonus fund and so the money is available for this month.

November 15, 2013 - New Lotto 649 game
There have been 17 draws so far for the new Lotto 649 game. With total sales of 119 million tickets, one could expect between 8 and 9 winning jackpot tickets. Instead, there have been only 2 winning jackpot tickets so far. This has resulted in several large jackpots with a total of 6 group plays.


October 1, 2013 - Very few $50 million Lotto Max jackpots in 2013
There have been a dearth of $50 million Lotto Max jackpots this year. In the previous 3 calendar years, 2010, 2011 & 2012, there were 13, 12 & 21 $50 million jackpots respectively. With three quarters of 2013 over, there have only been two $50 jackpots so far. There are not enough draws left in 2013 to even come close to the record number of 21 large jackpots set in 2012.

September 18, 2013 - A string of Powerball record high jackpots
Powerball set consecutive jackpot roll records from the 3rd roll of the jackpot on August 21, 2013 all the way to the 11th roll on September 18, 2013. The string of records immediately followed the record $448.4 million Powerball jackpot. The following is the list of records along with the previous records (in millions).

Roll New record Old record
3 . . . $72.0 . . . . $70.0
4 . . . $94.4 . . . . $85.4
5 . . . $117.7 . . . $104.7
6 . . . $141.0 . . . $131.5
7 . . . $168.7 . . . $150.6
8 . . . $208.0 . . . $177.6
9 . . . $248.3 . . . $212.8
10 . . $301.3 . . . $258.5
11 . . $399.4 . . . $307.2

September 11, 2013 - Record low Lotto 649 jackpot after 2 rolls
The Lotto 649 jackpot of $10.1 million for the September 11 draw set a new record low for a jackpot after 2 rolls. The previous record was $10.4 million and was set 2 weeks ago.

September 4, 2013 - Record low Lotto 649 starting jackpot
Sales supported a
Lotto 649 jackpot of only $2.66 million for the September 4, 2013 draw setting a new record low. The previous record low was $2.8 million.

August 31, 2013 - Record low Lotto 649 jackpot after 3 rolls
The
Lotto 649 jackpot of $14.8 million for the August 31, 2013 draw set a new record low for a jackpot after 3 rolls. The previous record low was $15 million.

August 28, 2013 - Record low Lotto 649 jackpot after 2 rolls
The
Lotto 649 jackpot of $10.45 million for the August 28, 2013 draw set a new record low for a jackpot after 2 rolls. The previous record low was $10.5 million.

August 9, 2013 - Record high Powerball jackpot after 12 rolls
The $448.4 million Powerball jackpot for the August 7, 2013 draw set a new record high jackpot after 12 rolls. The previous record high after 12 rolls was $363.9 million.

August 3, 2013 - Record high Powerball jackpot after 11 rolls
The $307.2 million Powerball jackpot for the August 3, 2013 draw set a new record high jackpot after 11 rolls. The previous record high after 11 rolls was $279 million.

July 24, 2013 - Lotto Max Jaclpot Progression Changed Again
The $17 million Lotto Max jackpot for the July 19 draw represents only a $5 million increase over the previous jackpot. This is the first time the jackpot has been raised by only $5 million since July 2011.

The jackpots were increased by a minimum of $5 million when the game was first launched in September 2009. Then starting in July 2011, in response to a string of 15 draws in a row where the jackpot failed to reach $50 million, the jackpots were raised a minimum of $10 million per draw. The string of draws without a $50 million jackpot eventually reached a record 24 draws - the record still stands today.

The reduction in the jackpot increases is most likely in response to the recent number of underfunded jackpots. Since the launch of Lotto Max, an extra $108 million has been paid out to fund jackpots beyond what is normally funded through sales. The bulk of that amount has been paid out this year alone - a total of $62 million.

There is another reason why the Lotto Max jackpots are only increasing by $5 million per draw. The lottery corps are most likely trying to conserve the bonus funds for the relaunch of the Lotto 649 game on September 15. A relaunch of a game is using accompanied by a series of bonus jackpots.

February 13, 2012 - Record Low Lotto Max Sales for $50 Million Jackpots
Sales for large jackpots are showing a slight decline. First for Lotto 649 sales as reported last month and now for Lotto Max sales. Sales for the $50 million Lotto Max jackpot on December 30 set a record low at $53.9 million. This was unusual since the previous jackpot was also $50 million and had 7% higher sales. But, on the other hand, the draw was held during the holiday season which normally has lower than average sales.

The low sales record was broken once again for the $50 million Lotto Max jackpot draw on January 27. This time there was no holiday season to blame. Sales were only $50.6 million showing for the first time since the launch of the game a lowering interest for the very large jackpots. This is a big departure from the $125 million sales for a $50 million jackpot shortly after the launch of the new game when large jackpots were still a novelty.

January 25, 2012 - Lotto 649 Record Low Jackpots
Lotto 649 sales continue to slowly decrease. Two record low jackpots were recently set. The January 18 draw had a jackpot of $19.5 million after 4 rolls. The previous record low jackpot after 4 rolls was $20.2 million. The January 21 draw had a jackpot of $24.9 million after 5 rolls. The previous record low jackpot after 5 rolls was $25.7 million. The Lotto Max jackpots during this perid were $30 million and $50 million.

July 13, 2011 - Lotto 649 Record Low Jackpots
Four consecutive low Lotto 649 jackpots were set starting with the June 29, 2011 draw. The four record low jackpots were $15 million, $20.2 million, $25.7 million and $32.3 million and set records for jackpots after 3 rolls, 4 rolls, 5 rolls and 6 rolls. The previous record lows jackpots were $15.3 million, $20.4 million, $26.5 million and $33.1 million.

June 8, 2011 - Consecutive jackpot wins
There have been a lot of jackpot wins lately. Seven consecutive Lotto 649 jackpots were won starting with the May 18 draw with a total of 10 winning tickets. Based on sales, only 3 winning jackpot tickets were expected in those seven draws. The record is 10 consecutive jackpots won starting with the May 19, 2007 draw.

Two consecutive Lotto Max jackpots were won with a total of 3 winning tickets. Based on sales, the most likely occurrence was no winning tickets.

January 26, 2011 - Lotto 649 Record Low Sales
Sales of 5.4 million tickets for the January 26 Lotto 649 draw were 42% below average and set a new record low. The previous record low sales was set just one week prior.

January 22, 2011 - Lotto 649 Record Low Jackpot & Sales
Sales of 5.44 million tickets for the January 19 Lotto 649 draw were a new record low. The previous low sales record was $5.47 million. The $2.8 million jackpot also set a new record low. The previous record was $2.9 million. The $6.3 million Lotto 649 jackpot for the January 22 draw also set a new low for a jackpot after one roll. The previous record was $6.5 million. Lotto 649 continues its decline in popularity since the launch of Lotto Max. The low sales was affected by the current large Lotto Max jackpots and the lack of a Lotto 649 jackpot over $8 million since the bonus jackpot on November 27
.

January 5, 2011 - Lotto 649 Record Low Jackpot
The $2.89 million Lotto 649 jackpot for the January 5 draw set a new record low starting jackpot. The previous record was $2.94 million. Near record low sales and low winning numbers both contributed to the record low jackpot
.

January 4, 2011 - Mega Millions Record High Jackpot
The Mega Millions jackpot for the January 4 draw set a new record high of $240 million. The annuity value was $380 million. The previous record was $233 million. The jackpot rolled 15 times to set the new mark and there were two winning tickets. The winning tickets were puchased in Washington and Idaho. Interestingly, the two stores that sold the winning tickets are only 125 miles apart.

October 30, 2010
The October 30, 2010 Lotto 649 jackpot of $21.48 million was a record low after four rolls. The previous record was $21.88 million.

September 16, 2010 - Lotto 649 Record Low Jackpot
Lotto 649 sales continue to decline with the ongoing popularity of Lotto Max. The September 15, 2010 Lotto 649 jackpot of $6.55 million was a record low after one roll. The previous record was $6.69 million

August 28, 2010 - Lotto 649 Record Low Jackpots
Lotto 649 sales continue to decline with the recent record number of $50 million Lotto Max jackpots. The July 28, 2010 Lotto 649 jackpot of $15.6 million was a record low after three rolls. The previous record was $16.1 million.

The August 11, 2010 starting jackpot of $2.94 million was a record low. The previous record was $3.04 million. Sales for that draw were also a record low of 5.57 million tickets. The previous record was 5.69 million tickets.

The August 18, 2010 Lotto 649 jackpot of $6.69 million was a record low after one roll. The previous record was $6.87 million. The record low was reached despite the extra $0.24 million added to the jackpot since there were no winners of the second prize category from the previous draw. The record was broken again with the $6.67 million jackpot on August 28, 2010.

The August 11, August 18 and August 28 low jackpots were also the result of low winning numbers.

August 27, 2010 - Lotto Max Records
Sales of $30.5 million for the August 27 Lotto Max set a new record high for a $10 million jackpot - the previous sales record was $21 million.

The match 6 prize set a new record high of $8,633 - the previous record was $8,481. The Match 6 plus bonus prize set a new record low of $75,969 with 5 winning tickets. The previous record low was $88,862.

August 7, 2010 - Lotto Max Second Prize Records
Second prize (match 6 plus bonus) set a new record high of $1.36 million for the July 16 draw. Two factors contributed to the new record. There was only one winning ticket. But more important, $0.58 million was added to the prize category. The jackpot pool was $63.58 million with $50 million allocated to the main jackpot, $13 million for 13 MaxMillions prizes and the remaining $0.58 was added to the second prize pool.

The record was broken in the July 30 draw with a $1.58 million prize. Again there was only one winning ticket and $0.76 was added to the prize category. The record was broken a third time in four weeks in the August 6 draw with a prize of $1.73 million. This time there were no winning tickets and $0.9 million was added to the prize category.

July 22, 2010 - Lotto Max Jackpot Estimates
The Canadian lottery corporations received some negative feedback after the June 25, 2010 Lotto Max draw. A total of 55 MaxMillions prizes were estimated but by draw time, only 49 were available to be won. They had estimated a sales increase but instead sales were the same as the week before. A sales plateau had to happen eventually. The number of lottery players and their discretionary spending is not infinite.

The lottery corporations are trying to avoid a repeat performance and are now making far more conservative estimates. The July 2 jackpot was estimated at $30 million but reached $33.1 million. The July 9 jackpot was estimated at $43 million but reached $46.6 million. For the July 16 draw, a total of 10 MaxMillions prizes were estimated but sales supported 13 prizes plus an additional $0.6 million.

The estimate for the July 23 Lotto Max draw also appears to be conservative. The estimate is for 26 MaxMillions prizes but it will most likely exceed 30 prizes.

June 16, 2010 - Lotto 649 Record
The Lotto 649 jackpot set a new record low $10.95 million after two rolls for the June 16 draw. The previous record low was $11.11 million. The low sales were undoubtedly caused by the large Lotto Max jackpots.

March 21, 2010 - Lotto 649 Records
A number of records were set in the March 17 and March 20 Lotto 649 draws. The jackpot rolled 7 times in a row. The previous record was 5 rolls. It was the first time the deflator rule was applied in two consecutive draws. The match 4 prize was a record $236.20 and the match 5 prize was a record $6,975.50.

It was also the first time the payout for a Lotto 649 draw exceeded 100%. The payouts were 107% and 105% for the March 17 and March 20 draws respectively. The only other time there was a payout over 100% for a Canadian lottery was the last Super 7 draw in September 2009 when the payout reached 106%.

The $41.3 million March 20 jackpot was the 7th largest Lotto 649 jackpot.

March 6, 2010 - Lotto Max
The Lotto Max jackpot for the March 5 draw was won - 2 winning tickets. Unusual given only 5.7 million tickets were sold. There have been twice as many jackpot winners since the launch of Lotto Max than can be expected based on sales.

The second prize (match 6/7+) for the Feb 26 Lotto Max draw set a record high of $0.53 million even though there were 3 winning tickets. The record prize amount was the result of $0.74 million added to the prize category. The jackpot had rolled to $60.74 million. $50 million was allocated to the jackpot and $10 million was allocated to 10 MaxMillions prizes. The remaining $0.74 million was added to the second prize category.

March 3, 2010 - Record low Lotto 649 Sales
Lotto 649 sales continue to trend lower because of the popularity of Lotto Max. Lotto 649 recorded two record low sales. Sales for the Feb 17 draw were the lowest to date at $5.76 million. A week later, the record low was broken again with sales of $5.69 million. The previous record low was $5.82 million. These record lows are much lower than the $9.8 million average sales experienced by Lotto 649 prior to the launch of Lotto Max.

The one-roll jackpot record low was also broken for the Feb 27 draw. After one roll, the jackpot only reached $6.82 million. The previous record was $7.17 million.

The two-roll jackpot record low was broken for the Mar 3 draw. After two rolls, the jackpot only reached $11.1 million. The previous record was $11.3 million.

February 17, 2010 - Record low Lotto 649 Sales
Lotto 649 sales continue to trend lower because of the popularity of Lotto Max. With a Lotto Max jackpot of $42 million on February 19, the February 17 Lotto 649 draw recorded the lowest sales to date at $5.76 million. The previous record low was $5.82 million.

The number of match 3 and match 4 winners also set record lows at 82,987 and 4,168 respectively. Low sales and high winning numbers both contributed to the low number of winners.

February 6, 2010 - Powerball & Mega Millions Jackpot Records
The Powerball jackpot rolled to $116.6 million for the February 3 draw and set a new 8-roll record high. The previous record was $114.4 million.

The Mega Millions jackpot rolled to $32 million for the February 9 draw and set a new 2-roll record high. The previous record was $31 milion.

The jackpots records are a direct result of the increased size of the player base. As of January 31, most US states that used to only sell Mega MIllions tickets, now also sell Powerball tickets. Also, most of the states that used to only sell Powerball tickets, now also sell Mega Millions tickets. The increased player base for both lotteries will result in larger jackpots.

Press release announcing the change.

January 10, 2010 - Lotto Max popularity
Lotto Max continues to be a very popular new game. The average weekly sales to date is $26.3 million compared to the weekly sales for Super 7 for its last 3 years at only $16.3 million.

The popularity of Lotto Max continues to cause a drop in Lotto 649 sales. The Lotto 649 jackpot for the January 9 draw set a new 1-roll record low of $7.14 million. The previous record low was $7.17 set on November 14, 2009 also during the reign of Lotto Max.

December 6, 2009 - Lotto 649 sales continue to track lower
Lotto 649 sales continue to track lower than average. The decline is mostly a result of the popularity of Lotto Max's larger jackpots. After two rolls, the Lotto 649 jackpot reached a record low $11.3 million for the November 25 draw. After three rolls, the Lotto 649 jackpot reached a record low $16.1 million for the November 28 draw. The previous three roll record low was $19.8 million. After four rolls, the Lotto 649 jackpot reached a record low $21.9 million for the December 2 draw. The previous four roll record low was $28 million. After five rolls, the Lotto 649 jackpot reached a record low $28.6 million. The previous five roll record low was $37.3 million.

Surprisingly, Lotto 649 sales did not rebound for the previous two draws given the jackpots were larger than the Lotto Max jackpots for the first time since the launch of the new game.

November 11, 2009 - Low Lotto 649 Sales Continue
Sales for Lotto 649 continue to fall as a result of Lotto Max. Sales for the November 11 draw were 5.8 million tickets; the lowest since launch.

November 6, 2009 - Lotto Max Bonus
The November 6 Lotto Max draw was in a bonus situation. 10 Maxmillions prizes were guaranteed for a total of $60 million in jackpot money. Sales supported only $54,075,586 for the jackpot. Since 5 Maxmillions prizes were won, there was a shortfall of $924,414 that was supplied by the bonus fund. This was the first Lotto Max draw that received bonus funding. Had any of the previous Lotto Max jackpots been won (except the $30 million jackpot), they would have been partially funded by the bonus fund.

It was unusual how many tickets matched all 7 numbers in the November 6 Lotto Max. The odds of a ticket matching all 7 numbers is 1 in 28 million. But since there was a total of 11 draws - 1 main draw and 10 Maxmillions draws - the odds of a ticket matching all 7 numbers was reduced to 1 in 2.6 million. A total of 10.9 million tickets were sold for the draw. The expected number of tickets matching 7 numbers was only 4. There were 9 tickets that matched 7 numbers. One ticket matched the main draw numbers and 8 tickets matched one of the Maxmillions numbers.

It was, as it appeared, an unusual event. More than twice as many tickets as expected matched 7 numbers.

October 28, 2009 - Many Lotto 649 Winners
The Lotto 649 draw on October 28 had two winning tickets. It is not often there are multiple winners. And yet, in 5 of the last 8 Lotto 649 draws, the jackpot was won with 2 tickets.

Since August of this year, there have been more jackpot winning tickets than expected. Based on sales, the expected number of winning tickets was 12. The actual number of winning tickets was 21. Almost double the expected number over 23 draws.

No coincidence there has been no Lotto 649 group play since the beginning of August.

October 25, 2009 - Low Lotto 649 Sales Continue
The October 24 jackpot after two rollovers was $12.40 million - the second lowest two-rollover jackpot since the launch of the $2 ticket in June 2004.

October 15, 2009 - Low Lotto 649 Sales Continue
Sales for Lotto 649 continue to drop since the launch of Lotto Max. Sales for the Oct 14 draw were 5.8 million tickets - the lowest figure since the launch of the $2 ticket in June 2004. The fact that the jackpot was won 5 draws in a row also contributed to low sales.

October 4, 2009 - Low Lotto 649 Sales
Since the launch of Lotto Max, sales for Lotto 649 have gone down. Lotto Max sales started on September 19. Sales for the Lotto 649 draw on September 23 were 6.47 million tickets. That was the lowest sales since the June 4, 2008 draw. Average sales per draw since the launch of the $2 game are 9.81 million tickets. Sales for the next couple of draws were also low producing low rollover jackpots. The September 26 jackpot after one rollover was $7.65 million - the fifth lowest one-rollover jackpot. The September 30 jackpot after two rollovers was $12.43 million - the second lowest two-rollover jackpot.
Sales for the Oct 7 draw were $6.3 million - the lowest since May 21, 2008.

July 23, 2009 - Super 7 finally reaches $20 million
The $20 million Super 7 jackpot on July 24 is the largest Super 7 jackpot since May 23, 2008 - over 14 months ago. The May 23, 2008 jackpot was a bonus draw. The last time a Super 7 jackpot rolled naturally to $20 million was on November 23, 2007.

February 28, 2009 - Three large worldwide jackpots
There are currently three large lottery jackpots in play. The largest jackpot is Mega Millions at $137.8 million. A close second is Euro Millions at $126.8 million. Third is Powerball at $92.5 million. All values are in US dollars and are the cash value of the jackpot, not the advertised annuity value. Despite the size of the jackpots, each one is still far from the largest jackpot for the respective game.

December 5, 2008 - Super 7
The Super 7 jackpot was won three draws in a row. The last time the Super 7 jackpot exceeded $15 million naturally, without bonus jackpots, was the November 23, 2007 draw.

November 19, 2008 - Lotto 649
A low draw followed by a high draw again shows the value of picking the right type of numbers. The winning numbers for the November 19 draw were 24  28  34  38  44  45  B35. The match 4 prize for the high draw was 209% larger and the match 5 prize was 243% larger. Had one picked the correct numbers for the November 19 draw, they would have been the only winner of the jackpot compared to the November 15 draw where there were 3 winning jackpot tickets.

November 15, 2008 - Lotto 649
Another example where low numbers results in lower than average payouts. The winning numbers for the November 15 Lotto 649 draw were 8  9  12  16  19  21  B47.

The match 4 prize was $44 for this draw compared to the average prize of $70. The match 5 prize was $1,048 compared to the average prize of $2,048. The match 5 plus bonus prize was not won. It was the exception because the bonus number was not low. And most important, the jackpot was split three ways.

It is very unusual for the Lotto 649 jackpot to have multiple winning tickets. It only happens when sales are very high or the winning numbers are low or follow a pattern. The record number of winning jackpot tickets for a single draw is 8. It occurred on the September 9, 1995 draw where each winning ticket won only $316,337 and the winning numbers followed a pattern.

The lowest winning Lotto 649 numbers were  1   5   7   8   11   13   B3, for the October 29, 1983 draw.

August 20, 2008 - Lotto 649
Another example where playing patterns produces lower than average prizes. The winning numbers for the August 20 draw were 3 6 9 27 28 36 B45. Six of the seven numbers were multiples of 3 and four of the seven numbers were multiples of 9.

The match 4 prize was $36.50 for this draw compared to the average prize of $70. The match 5 prize was $639.80 compared to the average prize of $2,054. The match 5 plus bonus prize was $11,166.60 compared to the average prize of $148,324. The match 4 and match 5 prizes set new record lows since the launch of the $2 ticket price. There were two winning jackpot tickets; also out of the ordinary given sales for this draw were just over 7 million tickets.

May 23, 2008 - Super 7 bonus draw
The $27 million jackpot on May 23 was won (1 winning ticket) and turned out to be the last Super 7 bonus draw in this series. The planned $30 million bonus draw on May 30 was cancelled. Three of the five bonus draws were won. Ticket sales for the 5 bonus draws contributed $26.3 million to the jackpots. The 5 jackpots totaled $101 million leaving a shortfall of $74.7 million. The shortfall is funded using the Bonus Pool maintained by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation on behalf of the 5 Canadian lottery regions. The Bonus Pool is funded using monies from unclaimed prizes and 3% of all Super 7 and Lotto 649 sales.

Ticket sales were better for this series of bonus draws than the Super 7 bonus draws held in December of 2007. For example, sales for the $27 million jackpot were $36.3 million compared to $30.6 million for the same jackpot level in December 2007. But the big difference was the number of jackpots won. Last December, only 1 bonus jackpot was won, the last one in the series at a jackpot level of $30 million, and the total jackpot shortfall was only $9.4 million compared to the $74.7 million this time.

The other significant difference was the number of bonus jackpots planned for this series was 6 compared to only 4 in December of last year. Every year anywhere from 1 to 4 bonus draw campaigns are held for Super 7 and Lotto 649. This is the first time I have seen this many draws planned for a single series. This may be a new policy where more draws are planned but the lottery regions only proceed with the total number if enough of the jackpots roll.

May 16, 2008 - Super 7 bonus draw
The $25 million jackpot on May 16 was the fourth of six Super 7 bonus draws. The jackpot was not won and sales contributed $5.65 million to next week's jackpot. The payback was 73%.

May 9, 2008 - Super 7 bonus draw
The $22 million jackpot on May 9 was the third of six Super 7 bonus draws. The jackpot was won - one winning ticket. Sales contributed $5.2 million to the jackpot. The $22 million jackpot was funded with $16.8 million from the bonus fund. Even though the jackpot increased by 10%, sales increased only by 3%, at 14.75 million tickets, from the previous week. The payback was 69%.

May 2, 2008 - Super 7 bonus draw
The $20 million jackpot on May 2 was the second of six Super 7 bonus draws. The jackpot was won - two winning tickets. Sales contributed $5.1 million to the jackpot along with $3.9 million from the previous week. The $20 million jackpot was funded with $11 million from the bonus fund. The payback was 66%.

April 25, 2008 - Super 7 bonus draw
The $17 million jackpot on April 25 was the first of six Super 7 bonus draws. The jackpot was not won and sales contributed $3.9 million to next week's jackpot. The payback was 63%.

April 16, 2008 - Lotto 649
A new record was set for the April 16 Lotto 649 draw. The match 5 numbers prize category had only 67 winning tickets. That is the lowest number of winners for that category since the launch of the game. The previous record was 70 winners and was set in the April 26, 2006 draw. Two factors contributed to the new low. Sales for the draw were low at 6.45 million tickets. But the more important factor was the high winning numbers. The match 5 numbers prize was $3,350.60 - much higher than the average of $2,046.

March 21, 2008 - Super 7
For four draws in a row, the Super 7 jackpot was won. A total of 6 winning tickets in four consecutive draws - a $12 million jackpot followed by three $2.5 million jackpots were won. That is an unusual streak of wins given the odds are 1 in 21 million for a single ticket and the relatively low sales for the 4 draws. Total sales for the 4 draws was only 24 million tickets. Four consecutive jackpots at the starting level of $2.5 million culminated in sales of only 5.065 million tickets for the March 21 draw. That is the lowest sales for a single draw since March 8, 2002 - over 4 years ago.

March 19, 2008 - Lotto 649
The March 19 Lotto 649 draw had some interesting winning numbers:
23   40   41   42   44   45   B43.
Six consecutive numbers when the bonus number is included.
This is further proof never to play a pattern of numbers. The 5 + bonus payout was only $1,193 compared to the average payout of $148,657. There were 239 winners in the 5 + bonus category compared to the average of 4 winners. It appears most if not all of the winners of the 5 + bonus category played the 6 consecutive numbers starting with 40. Also interesting to note is the match 5 prize category paid out $2,223 - almost double the amount of the 5 + bonus category. There were only 106 winners in the match 5 category.

All of the Lotto 649 numbers played by Mario's Lottery Groups have been checked using a computer program looking for patterns. All tickets with any type of pattern were eliminated from the list. The strategy is working since all of our match 4 and match 5 wins to date have yielded prizes larger than average for that prize category.

March 15, 2008 - Powerball
The Powerball jackpot reached $276.3 million for the March 15 draw after 16 consecutive rolls. The jackpot was won by a West Virginia group with 8 members. Using the cash value of $139.4 million as a comparison, this jackpot was the 19th largest jackpot ever and the 7th largest Powerball jackpot.

March 7, 2008 - Super 7
Another example where low numbers produce low payouts. The winning numbers for the Super 7 draw on March 7 were: 1   7   9   10   11   27   44   B25.
The match 5 prize was $79.20. Compare that to the average match 5 prize of $100. The match 6 prize was $1,416. The average match 6 prize is $1,800. But the comparatively lowest payout was for the jackpot. Three tickets matched all 7 numbers and the jackpot was only $833,334. This is the lowest jackpot prize awarded for Super 7 since the game was launched in 1995. The average jackpot size since the game was launched is over $7 million.