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Lotto 649 Super Wednesday Draws
July 2, 2016, updated September 2, 2016
For every Lotto 649 Wednesday draw in August and July 2016, there will be an additional 55 guaranteed prizes to be won. These prizes will be drawn using the same method as the $1 million guaranteed prize. Each prize will be awarded to a single ticket with no splitting of prizes. The 55 extra prizes consist of 6 prizes of $10,000 and 49 prizes of $1,000.
As mentioned in previous blogs, the Lotto 649 game is not a recommended game for individual play. It is only recommended for group play and only when the jackpot is at least $20 million. So the question is, given these 55 extra prizes, does that change the recommendation. The answer is not only no, but it is an emphatic NO.
The 55 extra prizes add up to a measly $109,000. For a game that costs $3 per ticket and with a jackpot that should be measured in millions, an extra $109,000 is hardly a good reason to buy a ticket. This recommendation to not buy applies to both individual and group play. The group play recommendation remains the same - wait for the jackpot to be at least $20 million.
Since the extra prizes are awarded as guaranteed prizes, both the odds of winning and the resulting payout is totally dependent on ticket sales. Say for example, ticket sales for a draw are exactly average; that is, $17.4 million. Then the extra 55 prizes increase the payout by only 0.7%. Now since the payout for guaranteed prizes increases when sales are low, let's see what happens when sales are very low. Say for example, sales match the record low of $13.5 million. Then the payout is only increased by 0.8%. And this is essentially the best case scenario.
These extra 55 prizes for 9 draws is both a waste of time and money. In total, the prizes for all 9 draws only add up to a $1 million in extra prizes. The Lotto 649 game is essentially a jackpot game. If they wish to increase sales, they should come up with ways to boost the jackpots. A good starting point is to get rid of the $1 million guaranteed prize awarded in each draw. Rather than award $8 million to $9 million per month, they could pick a special draw per month where the jackpot is automatically boosted by $8 million. This would be a far more effective way of boosting interest and sales for the game.
The strategy for a game like Lotto 649 should be to boost the jackpots and not increase the number of smaller prizes. It has been proven time and time again in countries all over the world, the best way to boost interest and subsequently sales for a game is to increase the size of the jackpots. The recent $1. 5 billion Powerball jackpot not only sent sales through the roof, the game attracted players from all over the world. The marketing executives at the 5 Canadian lottery companies should have figured that out by now.
And maybe that is the problem. Five marketing teams all trying to market the exact same product. It becomes marketing by committee rather than marketing by leadership. Looking at the recent salary figures published by Ontario Lottery and Gaming, the 5 top marketing executives receive annual salaries totaling over $1 million. Now given the other four Canadian lottery companies probably pay their executives about the same, that comes out to a total of $5 million per year for 5 positions duplicated across five companies.
With that much spent on salaries, the best they could come up with is to boost the Lotto 649 prizes by $109,000 for 9 draws.
September 2, 2016 Update
The last Super Wednesday draw was held on August 31. The campaign did not prove to be very successful. The Guaranteed Prize Fund had a deficit of $35.7 million at the start of the campaign and by the end, the deficit had grown to a record $42.6 million - an increase of close to $7 million. The Guaranteed Prize Fund is used to fund the Guaranteed $1 million prize for every draw, jackpot funding shortfalls and bonus campaigns such as the Super Wednesday draws. The fund receives 7% of the prize pool.