$70 million Lotto Max jackpot, largest ever in Canada, up for grabs Friday
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Friday, January 3, 2020 10:56AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 5, 2020 7:49AM EST
If one of your new year’s resolutions for 2020 is to become a multimillionaire, it might be worth taking a lottery ticket Friday.
A record $70 million Lotto Max prize is up for grabs for the first draw of 2020.
“This is the biggest jackpot ever offered in Canadian history,” Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation spokesperson Dita Kuhtey told CP24.com.
According to Kuhtey, this is the first time that the jackpot has hit $70 million since the OLG raised the jackpot cap to $70 million in May 2019.
“Every couple of years we do raise up that jackpot cap,” she said.
The previous cap was $60 million. Since the cap change in May, two prizes of $65 million have been won, one in Quebec in June and another in Western Canada in October.
Friday’s record jackpot follows 10 previous draws with no wins. So while it happens to be the first draw of the year, “it just comes down to the numbers,” according to Kuhtey.
After the jackpot hits $50 million, the OLG starts adding additional Maxmillions prizes. That means that in addition to the jackpot, there are 10 separate Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each up for grabs.
Each $5 Lotto Max tickets buys three sets of seven numbers in the national lottery. The first draw determines the jackpot, while additional draws determine the Maxmillions winners.
Tickets are on sale until 10:30 p.m. Friday night.
According to Kuhtey, the OLG expects to see a lot of ticket sales before then. She said that typically, 50 per cent of ticket sales occur on the day of a draw, while 50 per cent of draw day tickets are sold in the afternoon.
“Sales are good. People are very motivated, especially once we’ve got Maxmillions,” Kuhtey said. “People are definitely motivated by big jackpots and those chances to win a big prize.”
She said that’s especially true since lottery winnings in Canada are tax-free.
If someone doesn’t win this jackpot, the prize for the next draw will remain at $70 million, but more Maxmillions prizes will be added.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 33.2 million, while the odds of winning any sort of prize, including a free play, are one in seven, according to the OLG.