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Canadian Lottery

Lotto 6/49 is one of Canada's national lottery games, along with Lotto Super 7. Winning numbers are drawn every Wednesday and Saturday. The 6/49, launched in June 1982, was the first nationwide Canadian lottery game to allow players to choose their own numbers. Previous national games such as Lotto Canada and Superlotto (and regional lotteries such as Western Express and The Provincial) used printed numbers on tickets. Lotto 6/49 rendered these forms of lotteries obsolete in Canada.

As the name implies, six numbers are drawn from a set of 49. If a ticket matches all six numbers, the jackpot prize of at least $4,000,000 is won. A bonus number is also drawn, and if a player's ticket matches five numbers and the bonus number, he or she wins the "second prize" which is usually between $100,000 and $500,000. Should more than one player win the top or second prize, it is split amongst them. Lesser prizes are also awarded if one matches at least three numbers, or two numbers plus the bonus number. If the top prize is not won, the jackpot prize increases for the next draw.

Lotto 6/49 tickets are $2 per line as of June 2004. It had previously been $1, but was raised in order to offer larger jackpots. The minimum jackpot amount was also raised from $2,000,000 to $4,000,000. As many as ten lines can be printed on one individual ticket, however the maximum number of lines varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For example, in the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC), which encompasses Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut, the maximum number of lines allowed for one ticket is six.

The game's largest jackpot, and a Canadian lottery record, was drawn on October 26, 2005. The single winning ticket, worth $54.3 million, was purchased in Camrose, Alberta by a group of 17 oil and gas plant workers. The previous record was $37.8 million for a Lotto Super 7 draw on May 17th 2002. The jackpot was originally estimated at $40 million, but because of rapid sales created by lottery fever across the country, ballooned to $54,294,712. It was estimated that two out of every three adult Canadians had purchased a ticket. A sales peak of 100 tickets per minute was reached. An estimated $99.4 million worth of tickets were sold. The winning numbers (unofficial) were: 5, 11, 20, 30, 37, 43 and bonus 31.

Lotto Super 7 is one of Canada's national lottery games, along with Lotto 6/49. Drawn every Friday night, it has become a staple with Canadian lottery players. Jackpots start at a guaranteed $2.5 million, and is carried over if no ticket matches all 7 numbers. The largest jackpot awarded was in May 2002, in which 4 winners shared a $37.8 million jackpot.

The Lotto Super 7 game is run by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation which works with various Provincial lottery corporations. The lottery is run by the government, with profit sharing amongst the various retailers who sell tickets. Retailers receive from the lottery a percentage of the winnings for tickets sold from their shop (the money is not taken from the prize award).

Tickets for Super 7 are sold all across Canada in each of the five lottery jurisdictions: British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Western Canada Lottery Corporation, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Loto-Québec and Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Tickets can be purchased until the cutoff time of 9:00 p.m. ET on Friday nights. For every $2 spent, three selections of seven numbers will be given. In addition, each jurisdiction has an add-on regional game called Encore (In the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp.) which can be bought for $1.

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