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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.