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Updated February 14, 2009

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Millionaire Life - 2009 Edition
Updated February 14, 2009

The Millionaire Life raffle type game is again available across Canada during the month of February. This is the third year for the game. There was a blog entry about the game a year ago this month. The story addressed the question on whether or not the game was a good buy with respect to the payback the game offered.

The first year the game was available, in 2007, the payback was 44% for $20 tickets, 38% for $10 tickets and 25% for $5 tickets. Being a raffle type game, the payback is directly proportional to the number of tickets sold. These payback percentages compare very poorly to the average lottery game with a payback of around 50%. When the Lotto 649 or Super 7 jackpots are large, the payback exceeds 80%.

It was predicted last year that the payback percentage for the 2008 version of the game would probably be not much better and could be much worse if sales took off. Therefore the recommendation was not to play the game. As it turns out, sales for the 2008 edition fell off dramatically. Sales for 2008 were around 25% less than 2007 sales. The lower sales contributed to a much higher payback. The payback for the 2008 game were 57% for $20 tickets, 48% for $10 tickets and 32% for $5 tickets.

For the 2008 game, not only did the payback increase but also the odds of winning increased. The odds depend upon the number of tickets sold.

Sales for this year's game may drop off even more and give an even higher payback. It is highly unlikely that sales will drop off enough to give a payback of over 80%.

Sales were 24 million selections in 2007 and 18 million selections in 2008. Sales would have to drop off another 6 million selections to give a payback of 80%. That represents a drop in sales of 50% from 2007. That is highly unlikely.

Therefore the best option for lottery players is still to play games with rolling jackpots and only play when the jackpot is much larger than normal. For Lotto 649, that is jackpots of at least $24 million and for Super 7, jackpots of at least $30 million.