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Brazil's 8th Annual Quina Draw

June 9, 2018, updated June 24, 2018

Brazil's Quina lottery game uses a 5/80 matrix - players choose 5 numbers from a set of 80. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 24 million. Draws are held 6 days per week. Every year in June, a special draw is held where the jackpot is much larger than normal. To support the large jackpot, a percentage of sales from each draw, throughout the year, is used to fund the special draw. This is similar to the annual Mega da Virada draw held every New Years Eve.

Having extra money added to the jackpot makes the annual draw a good buy. But what make the draw an especially good buy is the fact the jackpot is guaranteed to be won. If there are no 5 number matches, the jackpot is divided among those tickets that matched 4 numbers. This is referred to as a roll down jackpot or a must win jackpot.

The 8th annual Quina draw will be held on June 23, 2018. Based on past results, the draw is expected to have a very large payout. In the previous 7 years, the payout has varied from a high of 127% to a low of 92%. Even at 92%, the annual Quina draw has a much higher payout than most lottery games even when they have very large jackpots. The record high payout of 127% occurred in the first year. This was probably before players caught on as to how good a deal it was.

The currency in Brazil is the Real. Currently, one Canadian dollar is worth 2.85 Reals. All monetary values in this article will be expressed in Canadian dollars to make it easier to compare to our local lotteries but using the exchange rate at the time of the respective draws.

The jackpot for the first annual draw was $26.6 million. As sales and interest in the game increased, so did the jackpots. The jackpot for last year's draw was a record $55 million. For the upcoming draw, the jackpot is an estimated $46 million. The jackpot estimate is probably conservative and it may reach $50 million.

The one reason the payouts are relatively high is the large amount of money that is added to the jackpot. A percentage of sales from over 300 draws is used to fund the annual draw. Another reason for the large payouts is the jackpot cannot roll. If the jackpot is not won, the money is divided up among the match 4 winning tickets. This type of jackpot draw is referred to as a roll down draw or a "must win jackpot" draw.

But since sales for the annual game are very high, the jackpot not only has never rolled, the number of winning jackpot tickets has varied from a low of 5 to a high of 15. On average, the amount each winning jackpot ticket won was $5.1 million. Each ticket costs only C$0.67 - another reason for relatively high sales for the annual draw.

The only disadvantage to this draw compared to the games we usually play is the smaller than expected prize in the event we hold one of the winning jackpot tickets. Players may want to consider buying extra shares to win a larger percentage of the jackpot.

Group E3 was launched to buy Quina tickets for the annual draw. Since all money collected will be used to buy tickets for the special draw, a deadline to join Group E3 has been set well before the draw date of June 23.

**Post Draw Update**

The jackpot reached C$44 million for the June 23 draw - less than the estimated C$46 million. There were 6 winning jackpot tickets. This was the second lowest number of winning jackpot tickets - most likely due to the high winning numbers and lower sales.The payout was 103%.

All the tickets bought for this draw were combination tickets ranging from 7 number combinations to 15 number combinations. The disadvantage to combination tickets is the high variance in wins. Usually it is a case of either winning nothing or winning a lot. In this case it was nothing.

The advantage in playing combination tickets is the ease of picking numbers for a large number of tickets. For these tickets, mostly high numbers were played. The strategy is to maximize the size of the wins if we are lucky to match 3 or 4 numbers.

For all 8 annual Quina draws, the lowest average winning numbers was 13. That draw also resulted in the lowest match 3 and match 4 prizes at R$69 and R$2,517 respectively. The highest average winning numbers was 49 and that resulted in the highest match 3 and match 4 prizes at R$187 and R$8,371. The match 4 prizes were over 3 times larger.

It is clearly advantageous to play high numbers. It does not increase the odds of winning, but any wins that are achieved usually results in larger prizes. The correlation also occurs with the jackpot but is harder to prove since the number of winning jackpot tickets is also largely affected by sales.