Canadian lottery games work in much the same way as the neighbouring USA’s lottery games. Canada’s first proper lottery games didn’t kick-off until the late 1960s when a provincial government was first allowed to operate one. Québec’s Inter-Loto was the first lottery launched in 1970, with the government running their own Loto Canada (then known as the Olympic Lottery) a few years afterwards. Today, Canada has two major national lotteries and plenty of smaller provincial ones.
Most popular Canadian lotteries
Canada’s two most popular national lotteries are the Lotto 6/49 and the Lotto Max (formerly known as Super 7). The Interprovincial Lottery Corporation runs these games, with the corporation itself being made up of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Loto-Québec, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Western Canada Lottery Corporation, and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
In the past, the Millionaire Life, and PayDay lottery games were quite popular. Now, most of the public enjoy playing the two major lotteries in the country, so let’s look at those now.
Lotto 6/49 is the main lottery game in Canada. It launched in 1982 and was the very first nationwide lottery game which allows players to select their own winning numbers. The game takes its name from the fact that players need to have 6 winnings numbers out of a total of 49 to pocket the top prize. The jackpot is prize is normally worth at least CAD$5,000,000, whilst secondary prizes range from CAD$500,000 to CAD$100,000. Tickets cost CAD$3 per game now, and a new raffle feature which offers a guaranteed CAD$1 million prizes has recently been included, just like in the United Kingdom’s National Lottery.
In the past, players have won as much as CAD$64 million with the Lotto 6/49 jackpot game. That top prize was paid out in October 2015, when a single ticket holder came forward from Mississauga, Ontario.
Canada’s Lotto Super 7 originally launched in 1994 before being replaced by the Lotto Max in 2009. This Friday night lottery game revived interest in the brand, after several disappointing years under the Super 7 logo. A rule change in 2015 meant that the jackpot could now rise to new heights and exceed a CAD$50 million cap. Most recently, a CAD$55 million cash prize was paid out to 20 employees as a Rona shop in Québec. That record was broken later that year when a single winner from Ontario pocketed CAD$60 million on the Lotto Max.
Which lottery is the best?
Both of Canada’s leading lottery games are very similar. The Lotto Max requires players to match 7 numbers and a bonus to pocket a jackpot win or a share of 89.25% of the pool funds. By contrast, the Loto 6/49 is easier to win. With both lotteries containing similar jackpot and ticket prices, we’d recommend having a gander at the Loto 6/49, since the odds of success in that lottery are 1 in just over 13.9m, as opposed to the 1 in 28.6m odds in the Lotto Max.