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Updated December 1, 2009

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Why No Bonus Draws?
June 24, 2009

The last bonus draw occurred on June 28, 2008 - a Lotto 649 draw. That was 12 months ago. This is the longest period of time without a bonus draw campaign. There were two bonus draw campaigns in 2008, four in 2007 and two campaigns in both 2006 and 2005. This adds up to a total of 49 bonus draws spread across 10 bonus draw campaigns, 5 for Super 7 and 5 for Lotto 649. There are three reasons why there have been no bonus draws in the last year.

First, it was decided last year that Super 7 will be retired in 2009. Bonus draws are used to increase interest in a game. There is no value in doing that for Super 7 if it is slated to end soon.

Second, Lotto 649 has experienced many large jackpots in 2009 as the result of natural rolls. Of the 11 largest Canadian jackpots ever, 5 of them occurred in the first half of 2009. This resulted in average sales of 12.4 million Lotto 649 tickets per draw so far in 2009 compared to less than the 10 million tickets per draw average for 2008. Therefore there was little value in promoting Lotto 649 with bonus draws.

The third reason is the most compelling for explaining the lack of bonus draws in the last year. The last Super 7 draw is scheduled for September 18. Sales for Lotto Max, the game that replaces Super 7, starts on September 19 with the first draw occurring on September 25.

As is the case for all new games, Lotto Max will be heavily promoted. Lottery players tend to stick to familiar games and it takes a fair amount of encouragement and advertising exposure to get players to try a new game. Lotto Max will be promoted with a kick-off bonus draw campaign. Since Lotto Max is designed to create jackpots larger than both Lotto 649 and Super 7, the bonus draws will have extra large jackpots.

The first draw on September 25 is expected to have a starting jackpot of $10 million and followed with 4 additional bonus draws with jackpots of $20 million, $30 million, $40 million and a final bonus jackpot of $50 million on October 30. A $50 million bonus jackpot is significant given there has only been two jackpots, to date, larger than $50 million. This bonus jackpot will be larger than the current record bonus jackpot of $40 million that occurred in June 2007.

Bonus draws are funded in two ways. The bulk of the money comes from unclaimed prizes and a certain percentage of ticket sales is allocated to the bonus draw fund. The bonus draw fund should be sufficiently large given the length of time since the last bonus draw campaign.

One or more temporary groups will be setup to play the last Lotto Max bonus draw.