FAQ

  1. How much money is won in a year?
  2. Who plays lottery games in Ontario?
  3. Who do I contact for more information about OLG lottery products?
  4. How old do you have to be to purchase lottery tickets in Ontario?
  5. Where are the draws held?
  6. How can I become an OLG retailer?
  7. Must all winners have their names published?
  8. Should I sign my ticket before claiming my prize at a lottery retailer?
  9. Where can I purchase lottery products in Ontario?
  10. Can I buy lottery products over the Internet?
  11. Where do lottery proceeds go?
  12. To what Ministry does the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation report?
  13. How can my organization apply for lottery funds?
  14. Who can I contact if I am concerned about my own or someone else's gambling?
  15. When can I validate my lottery tickets to check if I'm a winner?
  16. How do I claim a prize?
  17. How long are my lottery tickets valid for?
  18. How do I claim winnings if I am a resident of the United States?
  19. What tax implications are there for lottery winners?
  20. How can I find the odds of winning on your games?
  21. What is a repurchase?
  22. When do terminals re-open after a draw?
  23. What happens with lottery prize money that is not claimed?
  24. Why should I sign my ticket?
  25. Where can I check my ticket?
  26. What is the proper procedure for retailers to follow when validating lottery tickets?
  27. How can I be sure my ticket is checked properly?
  28. Can I submit a complaint or suggestion to OLG?
  29. What do I do if I lose a lottery ticket or if it has been stolen?
  30. What else have you done to ensure the security and integrity of the lottery prize payout process?
  31. What if I don't want to sign my ticket because of privacy concerns?
  32. Do I sign the front of the ticket or the back of the ticket?
  33. What constitutes an acceptable signature?
  34. Who should sign a ticket that has been purchased for a group?
  35. How can a dispute over a lottery prize be resolved?

1. How much money is won in a year?

During fiscal 2010/2011, OLG made available $1.78 billion in cash prizes.

2. Who plays lottery games in Ontario?

Lottery players in Ontario closely reflect the adult population in every demographic measure, and no group, either by age, education or income, plays lotteries significantly more than any other group. Half or more of Ontario adults play at least once every two months and nearly a quarter of all Ontario adults play at least once a week. For more information on the demographics of lottery players, please see our Fact Sheet.

3. Who do I contact for more information about OLG lottery products?

For more information about OLG lottery products, please call our OLG Support Centre at 1-800-387-0098.

4. How old do you have to be to purchase lottery tickets in Ontario?

You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase lottery tickets in Ontario. Under legislation passed in 1997, it is a provincial offence, punishable by significant fines, to sell OLG lottery tickets to anyone under the age of 18. In addition, we will suspend any retailers found to have sold to minors from our lottery business.

5. Where are the draws held?

The draws are held in a studio in Toronto under tight security measures. Each draw is videotaped, witnessed and officially recorded by independent adjudicators.

6. How can I become an OLG retailer?

The owner of an established business can apply to become an authorized OLG retailer by writing to:
OLG Support Centre
70 Foster Drive, Suite 800,
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A 6V2
Phone: 1-800-387-0098
Fax: 705-946-6788.

7. Must all winners have their names published?

The publishing of winners is important in demonstrating the integrity of our lottery games. OLG reserves the right to publish the name, city and photograph of any winner. This is necessary for us to demonstrate that people do win. Winner information is released to the news media and may be used in OLG 's advertising. For every prizewinner there are a number of other players who did not win but have a legitimate desire to know that someone won.

8. Should I sign my ticket before claiming my prize at a lottery retailer?

Starting Jan. 28, 2008, lottery tickets must be signed by the customer before the retailer will validate them. Retailers cannot validate tickets that are not signed. OLG strongly recommends that you sign your ticket AS SOON AS YOU PURCHASE IT. This identifies it as yours and helps protect you if you were ever to lose it.

9. Where can I purchase lottery products in Ontario?

Lottery products can be purchased from any of the more than 10,000 OLG retailers across the province. More than 8,300 retail locations are equipped with lottery terminals for on-line games such as LOTTO 6/49. INSTANT games can be purchased at all retail locations.

10. Can I buy OLG lottery products over the Internet?

No. OLG lottery products cannot be purchased over the Internet. You can purchase OLG lottery products from any of the more than 10,000 retailers in Ontario.

11. Where do lottery proceeds go?

All proceeds are paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the Province of Ontario. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act directs proceeds from lotteries, OLG Casinos and OLG Slots to: provincial hospitals, sport, recreational and cultural activities, and to charitable organizations and non-profit corporations through the Ontario Trillium Foundation. For more information on the economic benefits of lotteries and other OLG gaming activities, please visit the Economic Benefits section of our web site.

12. To what Ministry does the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation report?

OLG reports through a Board of Directors to the Ministry of Finance.

13. How can my organization apply for lottery funds?

Ontario Trillium Foundation is completely funded with OLG proceeds. Any organization interested in applying for grants should contact The Ontario Trillium Foundation at 1-800-263-2887 for more information.

14. Who can I contact if I am concerned about my own or someone else's gambling?

Contact the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-888-230-3505. This is a confidential, anonymous, free service open 24 hours or visit the site of The Responsible Gambling Council (Ontario), at www.responsiblegambling.org.

15. When can I validate my lottery tickets to check if I'm a winner?

You can validate all OLG lottery tickets at participating retail outlets during lottery terminal operating hours, from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Mondays and from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesdays to Sundays (Eastern Time). However, it is important to note that lottery retailers, as independent business people, set their own hours of operation for their businesses.

16. How do I claim a prize?

http://www.olg.ca/lotteries/guide/claiming.jsp

17. How long are my lottery tickets valid for?

All tickets generated by the lottery terminal expire 12 months after the draw date on the ticket. For INSTANT tickets, check the expiry date on the ticket back.

Sports Games are valid one year from the end of the Games List week from which the ticket was issued.

18. How do I claim winnings if I am a resident of the United States?

OLG 's lottery games are designed to be enjoyed by adult residents of Ontario. Occasionally, residents from other jurisdictions play and win OLG's lottery games, and OLG treats everyone fairly. The same claiming procedures described in the "How do I claim a prize?" answer above apply, subject to any U.S. postal regulations. OLG cannot mail cheques into the U.S. In cases where U.S. winners are required to receive a cheque for their winnings, they must pick up their cheque in person at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto. More information about claiming prizes is available by calling the OLG Customer Excellence Centre at 1-800-387-0098.

19. What tax implications are there for lottery winners?

Generally, Canadian tax authorities do not consider lottery winnings to be taxable for Canadian tax purposes. However, U.S. residents playing OLG lotteries should note that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does consider such winnings to be subject to U.S. tax. While OLG will not withhold the U.S. tax against Canadian winnings, U.S. residents must report such profits on their individual tax returns. For more information, U.S. residents should contact their local IRS office.

20. How can I find the odds of winning on your games?

You can find the various odds of winning for lottery games in the following areas of our website:

Odds of winning are also published in OLG's Fact Sheets. You can request a copy of our Fact Sheets by calling our Customer Excellence Centre at 1-800-387-0098.

21. What is a repurchase?

Repurchase is a way to play the same selections for the next draw without having to complete a Selection Slip. Merely present your ticket to a retailer after the last draw date and tell the retailer that you wish to purchase the same selections for the next draw. The retailer will then generate a ticket with the same selections for the next draw and return the original ticket together with the new ticket to you. A Repurchase play ticket costs the same as the original ticket. While Repurchase does apply to ENCORE, it does not generate the same ENCORE number.

Note: The Repurchase feature is only available up to 28 days from the last draw on a non-winning ticket or up to 30 days on a winning ticket, which has been paid.

22. When do terminals re-open after a draw?

On any particular game's draw night, the OLG has to close sales to conduct the draw. Approximately ten minutes after the draw close, OLG will re-open sales for the following draw.

23. What happens with lottery prize money that is not claimed?

Unclaimed prizes from national games, e.g. LOTTO 6/49, are returned to players through future bonus games or promotions. These funds are held separately from Ontario-only games and are administered by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation. Unclaimed prizes from games operated solely by OLG are directed to profits paid to the provincial government to benefit the people of Ontario.

24. Why should I sign my ticket?

OLG requires that you write or print your name on your lottery ticket before a retailer can check it. This is for your own protection. Signing the ticket is an easy way to identify it as yours. And that makes it difficult for someone else to claim your prize if your ticket is a winner. It also helps protect you if you were ever to lose it. Retailers cannot validate tickets that are not signed.

25. Where can I check my ticket?

  • Compare your numbers to the winning numbers on OLG.ca.
  • Call our WIN! Line at 416-870-8946 (Toronto area) or toll free at 1-866-891-8946 (outside Toronto area)
  • Pick up a winning numbers printout from your lottery terminal retailer
  • Use the easy self-serve Ticket Checker at your lottery terminal retailer. Simply insert the ticket, barcode side up, and wait for the message to appear on the Ticket Checker's screen.
  • Sign up on OLG.ca for winning numbers to be e-mailed to you.
  • Ask a lottery retailer to check it for you.

26. What is the proper procedure for retailers to follow when validating lottery tickets?

When you present a ticket for validation, all retailers must follow these simple steps:

  1. Check whether tickets are signed before validating.
  2. If tickets are not signed, ask the customer to sign them. Retailers cannot validate tickets that are not signed.
  3. Tear through the bar code of all paid-out tickets, and return all validated tickets, winners and non-winners, to customers along with the corresponding validation slips.
  4. Keep clutter away from the lottery terminal or Instant ticket device and the printer.
  5. Ensure the lottery terminal customer display screen is readily visible to the customer at all times.

27. How can I be sure my ticket is checked properly?

At a retailer who has a lottery terminal:

  • The lottery terminal plays a musical tune and a bilingual voice message and displays a corresponding message on the customer display screen. The tunes and voice messages alert players as to whether a ticket is a winner; a winner of a major prize of $5,000 or more; a non-winner; or if the ticket cannot be processed.

28. Can I submit a complaint or suggestion to OLG?

OLG's Customer Support is open seven days a week. You can call us at 1-800-387-0098 and follow the voice prompts. Alternatively, you can e-mail us from our website. All complaints or concerns regarding possible fraud or theft are forwarded to Investigative Services who is responsible to document and conduct a full review.

29. What do I do if I lose a lottery ticket or if it has been stolen?

If you have lost your lottery ticket or believe it has been stolen, you can contact OLG the following ways:
Phone: OLG Suppport: 1-800-387-0098
Email: Email OLG

30. What else have you done to ensure the security and integrity of the lottery prize payout process?

For more information, please see our Ensuring Lottery Prize Integrity.

31.What if I don't want to sign my ticket because of privacy concerns?

Retailers are required to return all validated tickets to customers, whether they are winning tickets or non-winning tickets. This puts your name/signature back in your hands.

32. Do I sign the front of the ticket or the back of the ticket?

You may sign either the front or the back of the ticket. However, a convenient signature box is located on the front of all on-line lottery tickets such as LOTTO 6/49. Signature boxes will begin to appear on the front of INSTANT tickets in the coming months.

33. What constitutes an acceptable signature?

The "Signature" area is protection for you to be able to identify your ticket with certainty. You can choose to write or print your name however you feel best represents you and ensures your ownership of the ticket.

34. Who should sign a ticket that has been purchased for a group?

A signature is required on a ticket before it can be validated. Often the person who is redeeming the ticket for a group can sign the ticket and also mark it as belonging to a group of people by adding a phrase such as "in trust" or "and group" which would indicate that others share in the ownership of the ticket.

35. How can a dispute over a lottery prize be resolved?

OLG's goal is to ensure that the right prize is paid to the right person(s) every time. There are times when ownership of a lottery prize is disputed by the claimants and other parties. When an ownership dispute occurs, options are available,as follows. The parties involved may settle the matter privately, or by proceeding in the Ontario courts, or resolved through arbitration by an arbitrator appointed by the Chair of the Board of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). All parties to a prize dispute must agree to the process for arbitration to proceed. For more information on the AGCO arbitration process visit the AGCO website. Any party to a prize dispute is advised to obtain independent legal advice.