LOTTO 6/49 FAQ - O L G

LOTTO 6/49 FAQ

  1. WHAT IS LOTTO 6/49?
  2. HOW IS LOTTO 6/49 PLAYED AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
  3. WHAT ARE THE OVERALL ODDS OF WINNING A PRIZE IN LOTTO 6/49?
  4. WHAT IS THE PRIZE PAYOUT ON LOTTO 6/49?
  5. HOW LONG DO LOTTO 6/49 PRIZE WINNERS HAVE TO CLAIM THEIR PRIZE?
  6. WHAT HAPPENS TO LOTTO 6/49 PRIZES THAT GO UNCLAIMED?
  7. IS COMBINATION PLAY AVAILABLE WITH LOTTO 6/49?
  8. IS ADVANCE PLAY AVAILABLE WITH LOTTO 6/49?
  9. CAN I PLAY ENCORE WITH LOTTO 6/49?
  10. HOW ARE THE PROCEEDS OF LOTTERIES USED?
  11. WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO PLAY LOTTO 6/49?

GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW

  1. WHAT IS THE $1 MILLION GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW?
  2. WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF WINNING THE$1 MILLION GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW?
  3. CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT THE $1 MILLION PRIZE WILL ALWAYS BE AWARDED?
  4. WHAT DOES THE 10-DIGIT GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION REPRESENT?
  5. WHY DOES MY GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION ALWAYS START WITH A 4 OR A 5?
  6. WHY DOES MY GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION ALWAYS END IN "01."?
  7. CAN A PLAYER OPT OUT OF THE GUARANTEED $1 MILLION PRIZE DRAW?
  8. WHY CAN'T I CHOOSE MY OWN GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION?
  9. CAN THERE BE TWO TICKETS WITH THE SAME GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION?
  10. I PURCHASED MULTIPLE LOTTO 6/49 PLAYS ON THE SAME TICKET, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE I'VE ONLY GOT TWO GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTIONS. WHY ARE THERE NOT MORE SELECTIONS FOR THE GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW?
  11. WHY ARE THE GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTIONS SHOWN AS A RANGE? WHY CAN'T YOU PRINT ALL THE SELECTIONS?
  12. DO I GET A DIFFERENT GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION FOR EACH DRAW INCLUDED IN AN ADVANCE PLAY PURCHASE?

DRAW METHODS

  1. HOW ARE THE WINNING NUMBERS DRAWN?
  2. HOW DOES THE RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR PICK THE WINNING 10-DIGIT "GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW" SELECTION?
  3. IS A SEED NUMBER USED AS PART OF THE RNG DRAW PROCESS? HOW IS IT USED?
  4. WHY IS ACOMPUTER USED FOR THE $1 MILLION GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW?
  5. IS A RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR AS RANDOM AS USING A TRADITIONAL BALL DRAW METHOD?
  6. WHAT'S TO PREVENT SOMEONE FROM MANIPULATING THE DRAW MACHINE OR RNG PROGRAM TO "FIX" A DRAW OR ENSURE A SPECIFIC TICKET WINS?
  7. ARE THE LOTTO 6/49 BALLS THE SAME ONES USED FOR LOTTO MAX OR OTHER GAMES? IS ANY TESTING DONE TO PROTECT AGAINST THE BALLS BEING ALTERED TO AFFECT THE OUTCOME OF THE DRAW?
  8. CAN I WATCH THE LOTTO 6/49 DRAW ONLINE?
  9. WHAT ORGANIZATION AUDITS LOTTO 6/49 DRAWS?

1. WHAT IS LOTTO 6/49?

LOTTO 6/49 is Canada's classic draw game. It gives players a chance to win the Main Jackpot Prize that starts at $5 million dollars and grows until won, as well as a $1 million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW and other cash prizes. For full details on LOTTO 6/49 please visit the LOTTO 6/49 page on www.olg.ca or a lottery retailer.

2. HOW IS LOTTO 6/49 PLAYED AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Players can purchase a LOTTO 6/49 play for $3.00 through lottery retailers or by registering online at PlayOLG.ca. Each play offers a chance to win the multi-Million Dollar Jackpot, the $1 million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW and other cash prizes. Players can choose to play by using the Quick Pick option or by selecting their own set of numbers between 1 and 49. LOTTO 6/49 players choose 6 numbers from a range of 1-49 to match against the winning numbers that are drawn. Players also have the chance to purchase an ENCORE ticket for an extra $1, as well as play up to 26 weeks (52 draws) in a row with Advance Play. Winning numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays and tickets are sold until 10:30pm (Eastern Time) on draw nights.

3. WHAT ARE THE OVERALL ODDS OF WINNING A PRIZE IN LOTTO 6/49?

The overall odds of winning a prize in the LOTTO 6/49 game are approximately 1 in 6.6. The odds of winning the Main Jackpot Prize are 1 in 13.9 million. The odds for the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW are determined for each draw by the total number of selections sold across Canada for the main draw. For example, if five million selections are sold, there would be five million entries for the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW, which means the odds of any one entry being drawn would be 1 in 5 million.

4. WHAT IS THE PRIZE PAYOUT ON LOTTO 6/49?

The total prize payout to players is 47% of sales. 40% of sales make up the Main Prize Fund - which funds a majority of the prizes. 7% of sales make up the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Fund - which funds the $1 million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW.

Click here for full information.

5. HOW LONG DO LOTTO 6/49 PRIZE WINNERS HAVE TO CLAIM THEIR PRIZE?

Players are reminded that prizes can be claimed for up to one year from the draw date. After that time, a prize is expired and cannot be claimed.

6. WHAT HAPPENS TO LOTTO 6/49 PRIZES THAT GO UNCLAIMED?

Unclaimed prizes on national lottery games like LOTTO 6/49 and LOTTO MAX are returned to players through guaranteed Jackpots and bonus draws.

7. IS COMBINATION PLAY AVAILABLE WITH LOTTO 6/49?

Players can choose to play 5, 7, 8 and 9 number combination play on LOTTO 6/49.

8. IS ADVANCE PLAY AVAILABLE WITH LOTTO 6/49?

Customers can play up to 26 weeks (52 draws) with Advance Play. See the Selection Slip for details or ask your lottery retailer.

9. CAN I PLAY ENCORE WITH LOTTO 6/49?

Yes, ENCORE is available for purchase with LOTTO 6/49.

10. HOW ARE THE PROCEEDS OF LOTTERIES USED?

Proceeds from lottery products are returned to the provincial and territorial governments across Canada, and are used to fund priority programs and services, as determined by each provincial or territorial government.

Since 1975, OLG lotteries, Casinos, Slots, and Resort Casinos have generated more than $36 billion for the benefit of the Province of Ontario.

11. WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO PLAY LOTTO 6/49?

More information on LOTTO 6/49 can be found in the Lotteries section of www.OLG.ca, as well as at lottery retailers. Lottery retail locations have take-one tear pads describing the new game and retailers can print out "How to Play" guides for customers through the lottery terminal.

GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW

12. WHAT IS THE $1 MILLION GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW?

The GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW is a separate draw from the winning LOTTO 6/49 numbers. The $1 million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW offers LOTTO 6/49 players a chance to win $1 million drawn from an extra Selection on each ticket. By drawing only from Selections issued, there will always be a winning Selection for the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW. This draw is included in every $3 LOTTO 6/49 play and does not cost extra.

13. WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF WINNING THE$1 MILLION GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW?

The odds for the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW are determined for each draw by the total number of Selections issued across Canada. For example, if 5 million LOTTO 6/49 plays are issued, there would be 5 million Selections for the $1 Million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW, which means the odds of any one Selection being drawn would be 1 in 5 million.

14. CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT THE $1 MILLION PRIZE WILL ALWAYS BE AWARDED?

No. A prize can only be awarded after a winning ticket is presented for validation and approved for payment. While the vast majority of lottery prizes are claimed by customers - especially when the prize is $1 million or more - there is always some possibility that a winning ticket might not be presented for payment or that the prize claim is not approved.

15. WHAT DOES THE 10-DIGIT GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION REPRESENT?

Each Canadian lottery jurisdiction has been assigned a pool of GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections to issue for any given draw. The GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection is set up in such a way that:

  • The first digit identifies the region where the ticket was issued. GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections issued in
    • British Columbia start with 0 or 1;
    • Western Canada (Alberta Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the three territories) start with 2 or 3
    • Ontario start with 4 or 5
    • Quebec start with 6 or 7
    • Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador) start with 8 or 9.
  • The first eight digits of the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections in each region are issued in consecutive order from the beginning to the end of their pool. (40000000-01 to 59999999-01 in Ontario)
  • The first eight digits are the same for all entries from the same ticket and will not appear on any other ticket for the same draw.
  • The last two digits identify the number of GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections on the ticket. The two-digit number following the hyphen will always start with 01 for the first GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection on the ticket, and increases by one for each additional Selection on tickets with multiple plays.

This method of numbering simplifies checking the ticket, and ensures that all GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections have exactly the same chances of winning. The format ensures that each GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection issued is unique and does not appear on any other ticket. The winning Selection is randomly drawn by computer only from those issued.

16. WHY DOES MY GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION ALWAYS START WITH A 4 OR A 5?

The GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection is set up in such a way that the first digit identifies the region where the ticket was issued. All OLG Selections begin with a 4 or 5, indicating that the ticket was issued in Ontario. No two GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections are the same for any given draw.

17. WHY DOES MY GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION ALWAYS END IN "01."?

The GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection is set up in such a way that the last two digits identify the number of Selections purchased on a ticket (e.g. A customer who purchases a single LOTTO 6/49 play on a ticket always has a GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW number ending in "01." If the ticket contains multiple plays, the player receives multiple GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections - the first eight digits are the same for all Selections; the two-digit number following the hyphen starts at 01, and increases by one for each additional selection on the ticket.).

18. CAN A PLAYER OPT OUT OF THE GUARANTEED $1 MILLION PRIZE DRAW?

No - players are automatically issued a GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection with every LOTTO 6/49 play purchased. There is no way to purchase a ticket that does not include a GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection.

19. WHY CAN'T I CHOOSE MY OWN GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION?

To ensure there is only one winning GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection, every Selection must be unique. If customers were to choose their own Selections, there would always be the possibility that two players could have the same winning GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection, and therefore, have to split the $1 million prize.

20. CAN THERE BE TWO TICKETS WITH THE SAME GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION?

No, the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections are unique, and therefore, two tickets can not share the same Selection. The winning Selection for the $1 Million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW matches only one 10-digit Selection and will only appear on one ticket issued across Canada.

21. I PURCHASED MULTIPLE LOTTO 6/49 PLAYS ON THE SAME TICKET, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE I'VE ONLY GOT TWO GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTIONS. WHY ARE THERE NOT MORE SELECTIONS FOR THE GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW?

Whenever a LOTTO 6/49 ticket is issued with three or more plays, the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections appear as a range.

For example, if you purchased a 5-number combination, you receive 44 LOTTO 6/49 Regular Selections. The GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections on your ticket would appear as:

FROM: 12345678-01
TO: 12345678-44

This means that your ticket has 44 entries for the Guaranteed $1 Million Prize Draw and also includes the same number with all the trailer numbers between 1 and 44 - trailers 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 [.] 41, 42 and 43.

22. WHY ARE THE GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTIONS SHOWN AS A RANGE? WHY CAN'T YOU PRINT ALL THE SELECTIONS?

Given the number of potential Selections that can be on one ticket, it is best to show these numbers as a range rather than printing every Selection. This is similar to Combination Play where the ticket does not include every possible combination.

For example, When playing a 9-number combination, a player's ticket contains 84 possible combinations - each of which is an individual LOTTO 6/49 Regular Selection, and each of which gives the player one GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection. To minimize what could cause an excessively long ticket, we decided to display the range in the case of multiple Selections. The ticket shows the unique 8-digit number and both the smallest and largest 2-digit trailer number, so the player is aware which Selections belong to them for that draw.

23. DO I GET A DIFFERENT GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW SELECTION FOR EACH DRAW INCLUDED IN AN ADVANCE PLAY PURCHASE?

Same as with the Regular Selections for the main draw, with an Advance Play purchase you will have the same GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selections entered into each GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW that is included in your Advance Play purchase. Each draw is an independent, random draw and so there is no effect on your odds of winning the GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW- the odds on each draw are always dependent on the number of selections issued for that draw.

DRAW METHODS

24. HOW ARE THE WINNING NUMBERS DRAWN?

A ball-drop machine is used to draw the Main Jackpot prize and subsidiary prize winners. The GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW will be made by computer using a Random Number Generator (RNG).

25. HOW DOES THE RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR PICK THE WINNING 10-DIGIT "GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW" SELECTION?

Once sales for the LOTTO 6/49 draw have closed each Wednesday and Saturday, each GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection is assigned a number and the Selections are grouped (or "indexed"). For example, If 5 million Selections were issued, they would be numbered 1 to 5,000,000.

The RNG is then used to randomly select a winning entry from 1 to 5,000,000. The ticket Selection matching that number is the winner of the Guaranteed $1 Million Prize Draw.

The RNG produces the winning entry number entirely at random from the range of selections issued, so each individual $1 Million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW Selection has an equal chance of winning the prize, regardless of when, where and how it was generated.

26. IS A SEED NUMBER USED AS PART OF THE RNG DRAW PROCESS? HOW IS IT USED?

A seed number is selected for each draw, through a multi-stage process which is independently witnessed and ensures randomness in the selection of the seed number.

(Note: A "seed" is a number used to determine the starting point for a random number generator to ensure entirely random results. If the same seed were to be used for each draw, the same outcome would be obtained each time.)

27. WHY IS ACOMPUTER USED FOR THE $1 MILLION GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW?

The $1 Million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW is different in nature than most lottery draws, including the LOTTO 6/49 main draw. Winning numbers for regular lotto-style draws (like LOTTO 6/49 or LOTTO MAX) are selected from the range of all possible numbers (on LOTTO 6/49, 6 numbers between 1 and 49), and the Jackpot may or may not be won, depending on whether the winning numbers match any Selections issued.

The $1 Million GUARANTEED PRIZE DRAW, however, is drawn only from Selections issued - which means there will always be a winning ticket.

On a much smaller level, when you're choosing a winner only from entries made, you can put all the tickets or entries into a hat, shake it up and randomly choose a winner. But with the millions of Selections issued for each LOTTO 6/49 draw, using a hat isn't a feasible approach. An RNG is used to allow for a fast, reliable and completely random winner.

28. IS A RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR AS RANDOM AS USING A TRADITIONAL BALL DRAW METHOD?

Yes, the system was designed to be as unpredictable as a ball-drop draw.

Considerable safeguards, as well as verification by external auditors, are in place for all lottery draws - regardless of how the results are generated. In terms of RNG, like the ball machine, the actual machines for RNG are kept inside a safe in a controlled room. The software is designed to signal any modification to any component of the system that has an influence on the outcome. As well, there is external audit of the draw itself.

29. WHAT'S TO PREVENT SOMEONE FROM MANIPULATING THE DRAW MACHINE OR RNG PROGRAM TO "FIX" A DRAW OR ENSURE A SPECIFIC TICKET WINS?

Regardless of the draw method, all lottery draws are audited internally and externally and there are a number of checks and balances that are overseen by third-party experts - from on-site auditors for draws to the verification of equipment by third-party certification experts.

The software itself is designed to signal any modification to any component of the system that has an influence on the outcome.

30. ARE THE LOTTO 6/49 BALLS THE SAME ONES USED FOR LOTTO MAX OR OTHER GAMES? IS ANY TESTING DONE TO PROTECT AGAINST THE BALLS BEING ALTERED TO AFFECT THE OUTCOME OF THE DRAW?

There is a separate set of balls used for both LOTTO 6/49 and LOTTO MAX games.

The balls are supplied by Smartplay International Inc. (of the U.S.), which specializes in these items.

Each of the 49 balls is 51mm in diameter, and they are tested regularly to ensure they are consistent for size, weight, volume displacement and bounce.

Between draws, the balls are sealed and kept in a locked, secure location and can only be accessed by authorized ILC draw personnel in the presence of an external trust officer.

31. CAN I WATCH THE LOTTO 6/49 DRAW ONLINE?

The LOTTO 6/49 draw videos are made available online shortly after the draw process is complete. These videos show the selection of the six winning LOTTO 6/49 numbers and the Bonus number. Please visit olg.ca and click on "Lotteries" To view these videos.

The Guaranteed $1 Million Prize Draw is conducted using an electronic random number generator system and not with a traditional lottery ball-drop machine, so there are no draw videos available as there are for draws that use a ball-drop machine.

32. WHAT ORGANIZATION AUDITS LOTTO 6/49 DRAWS?

Grant Thornton LLP is the external auditor for the LOTTO 6/49 draws.