Lotto 6/49 is one of Canada’s largest and oldest lotteries. It was established in 1982 and now awards nearly CA$2 billion in prizes to players every year. The lottery generates an additional $3.4 billion in economic activity across Ontario in donations to hospitals, local charities, amateur sports, and more. All in all, Lotto 6/49 is a well-run and high-paying lottery.
The lottery is hosted only in Canada, but residents from other locations are welcome to take a shot when they pass through the Ontario region. Locals can even buy Lotto 6/49 tickets online through the lottery’s official website. If you live outside Canada and don’t plan on visiting any time soon, your next best option is to head to the wide-open internet where you can find anything for sale… even working lottery tickets.
Best Lotto 6/49 Sites
The process is simple. You sign up for an account online and then tell them how many tickets and drawings you want to play. After you buy your tickets, the lottery website will call their local Ontario agent and tell him what to buy, which numbers to pick, and how many to get. All you have to do is wait and check your numbers after the drawing. If you win, they’ll credit the money straight to your account or make arrangements in the case of major jackpots.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Visit any of our recommended lottery sites.
- Select the lottery you want (Lotto 6/49)
- Select how many lines you want to play per ticket
- Choose your numbers or let the computer make random choices for you
- Choose the number of drawings you wish to participate in
- Pay for your tickets
Anyone inside Canada can also visit the lottery’s officially online sales site here. You must be in Canada at the time of purchase, and they do check. In addition to lottery tickets, Ontario residents may also play a variety of casino games online. The website works well enough for buying Lotto 6/49 tickets, but there are much better casino options for Canadians if you’re into blackjack, slots, or video poker.
Online subscriptions can be purchased when you check out right before you pay. You should see an option to select a subscription length of anywhere from one month to a year, hitting every single draw during that time. Prices are calculated ahead of time, so once you pay, that’s all you have to do. From there on out, they will go out and buy tickets for you ahead of every drawing.
How Lotto 6/49 Works
The aptly-named Lotto 6/49 has players select six numbers from 1-49 plus a bonus number used to award some of the other non-jackpot prizes. The bonus number plays no role in the main jackpot; it only awards the secondary prizes, as shown in the chart below. As far as big money is concerned, you win the top prize by matching all six main numbers with those drawn randomly by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation every Wednesday and Saturday.
Jackpots start at $5,000,000 and grow quickly from that point. It is not uncommon for winners to take home 20 or 30 million after hitting the main prize. In 2013, Lotto 6/49 set a record jackpot worth $63.4 million, splits between four winning tickets. Other smaller prizes are won by matching two through five numbers and sometimes the bonus ball.
Lotto 6/49 Prizes and Odds
There are seven ways to win in Lotto 6/49 online or otherwise. There’s the big jackpot that everyone has in mind when they play, plus a variety of other prizes that can also be worth quite a bit. The runner-up prize (matching five plus the bonus) is often good for $150,000 or more.
This current payout structure marks a drastic improvement over payouts in years past. In 2013, officials decided to change things up by increasing ticket prices to $3 per line to increase the guaranteed starting jackpot to $5 million and add the additional $1,000,000 bonus feature to every game.
It costs more to play now, but the odds are significantly better overall. Previously, your odds of winning any prize at all were about 1 in 32. Those are now 1 in 6.6.
What about LOTTO MAX?
Lotto Max is Canada’s larger, nationwide drawing that is drawn once a week. It works a lot like lotto 6/49 but starts every jackpot with $10 million and allows jackpots to grow week after week up until it hits a $60 million cap once the main jackpot reaches $50 million, every additional $1 million after that is given out as a separate reward in the MAXMILLIONS feature.
Tickets in this one are a bit more expensive, but you get three sets of 7 numbers for every $5 play. Pick your numbers from 1-49 like normal, and then check the results later. The best possible outcome is to match all 7 numbers to those drawn and win the main prize. If the total prize pool exceeds $50 million, your same numbers will be compared with another 7 numbers drawn just for the Maxmillions feature. You get an instant $1 million if all seven match.