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Ironing Out Lottery Odds

When it comes to Ontario’s lotteries, odds are you’ve played one at some point within the past year. How’s that? Well, according to the stats, throughout 2020 about 54% of all adults in Ontario bought at least one lottery ticket, and 38% had bought a ticket “recently” from the time they were surveyed. If you play at least once per week or more, you’re among only 14% of Ontario’s adult population. (We told you this post would be about lottery odds.)

Now that we’ve looked at who’s playing, how about what they’re playing? If you’re the sort of player who selects their ticket based on the odds, we’ve broken down the odds of not just winning the jackpot, but also free plays and “any prize,” in a few of Ontario’s favourite lottery draws. Here’s where things get a little more complex and interesting.

Name Odds of Winning Any Prize* on the Main Draw [1]
LOTTO MAX 1 in 7.0
DAILY GRAND 1 in 6.8
LOTTO 6/49 1 in 6.6
ONTARIO 49 1 in 6.6
LOTTARIO 1 in 5.8

*Any prize between a free play and a jackpot.

Name Odds of winning a free play on the Main Draw [1]
LOTTO MAX 1 in 12.3
DAILY GRAND 1 in 8.5
LOTTO 6/49 1 in 8.3
ONTARIO 49 1 in 8.3
LOTTARIO 1 in 8.1
Name Prize Odds of Winning A jackpot/top prize on the Main Draw [1]
LOTTO MAX Up to $70 Million + MAXMILLIONS 1 in 33,294,800
(Close to the pop. of Canada)
DAILY GRAND $1,000 a Day for Life 1 in 13,348,188
(Close to 3x the pop. of BC)
LOTTO 6/49 Guaranteed $1 Million up to as high as $60 Million+ 1 in 13,983,816
(Close to the pop. of Ontario)
ONTARIO 49 $2 Million 1 in 13,983,816
(Same as LOTTO 6/49)
LOTTARIO Starts at $250,000 and grows until won 1 in 4,072,530
(Close to 2x the pop. of NS, NB & PEI combined)

LOTTO FACT #1: By now you may have noticed that LOTTO 6/49 and ONTARIO 49 have identical odds. Why? Because both games are based on a random selection of 49 numbers across 6 balls.

Now, all the odds above are based on prizes that can be won in a main draw. But, what about the other prizes these games offer? Great question. Let’s take a look at the top additional prizes available for some popular lotteries.1

Name Additional Prizing odds [1]
Lotto Max
$1 Million
Additional $1 Million prizes offered when jackpot hits $50 Million. To win, a player must match 7/7 numbers.
1 in 33,294,800
Lotto 649
Guaranteed $1 Million Prize
$1 Million
Every draw night, $1 Million is given to a ticket holder through the guaranteed prize draw.
Early Bird Draw
$50,000 (Share equally)
Each ticket can have two draws: Early Bird Draw and Main Draw. Tickets issued on or before 11:59:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday are eligible for Early Bird Draw.
1 in 4,967

What’s the Pools Fund? This is money left over in a game’s prize fund after the funds for fixed prize amounts have been set aside.

LOTTO FACT #2: While the odds of a win may vary across different draw-based lotteries, one constant is that they are based on a random draw. That means that each line of numbers has the same odds of winning or losing. Why? Because every number has the same chance of being randomly selected and there’s no way to predict which one will be next.

LOTTO FACT #3: When it comes to the numbers you play, each is as lucky as the next. It can be fun to play favourites—birthdays, anniversaries, etc.—but your chances of winning always stay the same.

Learn more about Lottery Odds here.

[1] Provided solely for informational purposes. OLG makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. Please see the applicable Game Conditions for further details.