The Canadian Lotto Max, available across all provinces, has smashed all records this week, offering the historic $112 million in prizes for the draw on Friday night. Comparable in size to some of the larger jackpots in the United States, the lottery is becoming increasingly popular, with people questioning its payout system at the same time.
Since its launch in 2009, Lotto Max has been incredibly successful, promising participants some of the largest prizes in the history of Canada. This week, provincial lottery operators announced that yet another record has been broken – along with the maximum jackpot of $60 million, 52 additional prizes worth $1 million are up for grabs. All this could be won at the June 8 drawing by those who manage to predict the 7 winning numbers out of a field of 49. The amounts of the prizes are rough estimations, so the actual prizes are likely to be a little higher.
Interestingly, the lottery does not award the entire amount to one winner as it splits it to a jackpot and to separate $1 million prizes called MAXMILLIONS. The jackpot starts at $10 million and reaches a maximum of $60 million (until a few years ago, it was up to $50 million). When that main jackpot reaches $50 million but does not exceed $60 million, a minimum number of MAXMILLIONS prizes are set. It is this unique payout structure that separates Lotto Max from most lottery games and makes it so popular among people. Winning it simply looks more attainable due to the multiple jackpots.
However, many people have started questioning the scheme and the cap on the main jackpot, in particular. According to some Canadians, they do not have the chance to win really big unlike the neighbours in the south. Often, the lottery jackpots in the United States exceed $500 million, an amount that is currently impossible if you are playing any Canadian lottery. At the same time, whenever the Lotto Max jackpot reaches $50 million, more people start buying tickets, which automatically increases the jackpot pool.
Canada’s Lottery Jackpots More Accessible?
The record-breaking $112 million jackpot this Friday certainly seems very attractive especially considering that it could make more than 50 people millionaires. This system of a main jackpot and multiple $1 million prizes is designed to make the lottery’s big wins more accessible. People feel they have a greater chance to predict the winning numbers, but this is not exactly true. According to the OLG, there are 85,900,584 possible combinations of numbers for each LOTTO MAX draw.
The odds of winning any prize are, indeed attainable, at one in 6,6 per play, or roughly 15 per cent. The odds of winning the main jackpot or a MAXMILLIONS, on the other hand, seem impossible – one in 28,633,528 chance of winning per play. Still, people can win if they are extremely lucky. In fact, the likelihood of winning the smaller jackpots is the same as the one of hitting the top prize.
For this reason, many people believe that the lottery should change its rules and remove the cap on the amount of the main jackpot. With the current system, they cannot win more than $60 million with a single ticket. If this Friday’s draw had no limit to the jackpot, any individual would have the chance to pocket $112 million.