Canada’s lotteries are not as well known as the neighbours to the south. However, we have some exciting national and provincial games with amazing prizes on offer. The first Canadian lottery began in 1970 in Quebec, some 18 years before the first of the big American games. Other provinces quickly followed suit. The first Federal lottery was set up to pay for the 1976 Olympics. It was so successful, that the first Federal lottery was set up.
Launched in 1982, Lotto 6/49 was the first Canadian lottery that allowed players to choose numbers. Previous lotteries had unique number codes allocated on purchase. It was also the first game playable in all provinces rather than a select few. As stated in the title of the original game, players chose 6 numbers from a pool of 49; each line currently costs $3. If winners choose all 6 numbers correctly, they win a minimum $5m CAD. To date, the highest jackpot won was $64m CAD in October 2015. There is no maximum cap.
Drawn every Wednesday and Saturday.
Until 2009, this was known as Lotto Super 7, but it was revamped then and given a new name. This led to the lottery’s most successful year and it remains a firm favourite. As the name suggested, players chose 7 numbers from a pool of 47. Lotto Max started out with that format with a minimum $10m jackpot prize and a $50m CAD jackpot cap. Changes were implemented in 2019, increasing the jackpot cap from to $60m and to choose 7 numbers from a pool of 50. Each board costs $5 but for each purchase, players get two quick pick entries.
Drawn every Tuesday and Friday.
The youngest of the three national games, first tickets went on sale in 2016 everywhere except Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador and Prince Edward Island). Those provinces started selling tickets a year later. Players choose 5 numbers from a pool of 49. However, unlike other games, they are required to select and match a Grand Number from a pool of 7. No minimum or maximum; the top prize is a flat rate $1,000 CAD per day for life or a single payment of $7m. Second prize is $25k per year for life of $500k. Each board entry costs $5.
Drawn every Monday and Thursday.
No, this isn’t a mistake. Canadians have been playing this fantastic American game for years along with its cousin, MegaMillions. Those who live close to the border can simply cross over and buy a ticket. Powerball has provided some amazing prizes. There is no cap which is why the jackpot has surpassed the billion-dollar mark. Minimum prize is $40m USD ($52.9m CAD). Players choose 5 numbers from 69 plus the titular Powerball, one number from a pool of 26.
Drawn every Wednesday and Saturday. If you don’t live close to the border, don’t worry as you are able to play online.