Lotto Max Jackpot

A Guide to Lotto Max Jackpot

Everybody loves to win money. And playing casino games makes it more attractive because the prospective prizes far exceed the cost of buying in. While not everyone can be a big winner, games where there are plenty of smaller prizes distributed can really draw people in. If you have a 15% chance of winning any amount of money, that means 1 out of every 6 or 7 times you play, you’ll be a winner. 

While the odds of winning the jackpot in Lotto Max are low, it has some of the more favorable odds for smaller prize winners. For the lowest prize amount, most other lotteries have a 1 in 38 chance of winning. These prizes are usually less than the cost of the ticket. Lotto Max’s lowest prize is equal to $5, since the lowest prize is actually a free ticket!

What Is Lotto Max?

Lotto Max is one of Canada’s premiere national lotteries. There are only three national lottery games operated by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC), of which Lotto Max is arguably the most popular. It was introduced to the country on 19 September 2009 as a replacement to ILC’s Lotto Super 7 game. Since its inception, Lotto Max has earned more revenue than its predecessor each year, proving it to be a financial success.

What Are The Prizes?

The grand prize for winning the Lotto Max jackpot starts at $10 million. The prize pool carries over following each drawing without a winner and can reach up to $70 million. If the jackpot reaches $50 million, extra “MaxMillions” prizes are added into the mix that are worth $1 million each. The largest prize pool to date occurred on 15 June 2021, when both the $70 million jackpot and 58 MaxMillions prizes were awarded to the lucky players. This amounted to a $128 million payout spread across the main prize winners.

Here is the prize structure of Lotto Max games:

  • Match 7 of 7: Jackpot of at least $10 million or 87.25% of Pools Fund
  • Match 6 of 7 (plus bonus number): 2.5% of Pools Fund (plus bonus number prize)
  • Match 6 of 7: 2.5% of Pools Fund
  • Match 5 of 7 (plus bonus number): 1.5% of Pools Fund (plus bonus number prize)
  • Match 5 of 7: 3.5% of Pools Fund
  • Match 4 of 7 (plus bonus number): 2.75% of Pools Fund (plus bonus number prize)
  • Match 4 of 7: $20 from Prize Fund
  • Match 3 of 7 (plus bonus number): $20 from Prize Fund (plus bonus number prize)
  • Match 3 of 7: Free Play
  • MaxMillions (Match 7 of 7): $1 million

(Note: The Pools Fund constitutes 52% of applicable ticket sales and the Prize Fund makes up the remainder. Bonus number prizes are usually between $20 and $250,00. All prizes are split between players with winning numbers from that drawing, making actual prize values vary widely based on the number of winners.)

How To Play Lotto Max

Each Lotto Max ticket costs $5 and entitles you to 3 number fields. The number fields include the numbers 1 to 50, and players either select or are assigned 7 numbers from each field. You can manually choose 7 numbers for the first field, but the other 2 fields assign you 7 random numbers. You can also select a “quick pick,” which automatically assigns you numbers in all 3 fields. A bonus number is also included on your ticket. When MaxMillions is active, you have a chance to win $1 million.

To win, your numbers must match the numbers for that drawing in a single field. If you paid for the bonus number, you must match that as well to get the bonus number prize in addition to the regular match prize. Winning a free play entitles you to a free Lotto Max ticket, including 1 selection for 1 drawing. For a MaxMillions prize, you must match all 7 numbers on a single field. The MaxMillions drawing is separate from the regular Lotto Max drawing, meaning there will be a different set of numbers you have to match. For the MaxMillions drawing, there are no other prizes besides the 7 of 7 match.

What Are the Odds Of Winning?

According to the official Lotto Max website, 15 out of every 100 tickets sold win a prize of some sort. These are the odds of winning money from a Lotto Max drawing:

  • Match 7 (Jackpot): 1 in 33,294,800
  • Match 6 with bonus number: 1 in 4,756,400
  • Match 6: 1 in 113,248
  • Match 5 with bonus number: 1 in 37,749
  • Match 5: 1 in 1,841
  • Match 4 with bonus number: 1 in 1,105
  • Match 4: 1 in 82.9
  • Match 3 with bonus number: 1 in 82.9
  • Match 3: 1 in 8.5

Western Canada’s EXTRA Play

What I love most is that the Western Canada Lottery Commission (WCLC) includes an additional way to win money through its EXTRA play. For $1 more, you can add an EXTRA play to your Lotto Max ticket. Each ticket can have a maximum of five EXTRA plays. Each EXTRA play corresponds to a single field on your Lotto Max ticket. The great thing I’ve noticed is that when I pay for an EXTRA play, my ticket indicates which fields have been activated by paying the additional $1 fee.

An EXTRA drawing has 7 numbers that are separate from both the normal Lotto Max drawing and the MaxMillions drawing. To win the top prize, you must match all 7 numbers from a single field. To receive subsequent prizes, your numbers must be matched sequentially from the right. For example, if the EXTRA drawing gives the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, you must match 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 to get the “Match 6” prize.  For the “Match 3” prize, you would need 7, 6, and 5, and for the “Match 1” prize, you must match the last number, which would be 7. All prizes for EXTRA plays are fixed amounts, but they are not split across multiple winners. Each winner will receive the full amount of the prize indicated.

Here is the prize chart for EXTRA play winning tickets:

  • Match 7: $250,000
  • Match 6: $100,000
  • Match 5: $1,000
  • Match 4: $100
  • Match 3: $50
  • Match 2: $20
  • Match 1: $2

When Can You Play Lotto Max?

Lotto Max currently has 2 drawings each week throughout the calendar year. Drawings occur every Tuesday and Friday at 10:30 PM EST. When MaxMillions and EXTRA play drawings are available, they will occur at the same time as the regular Lotto Max drawings. Tickets for an upcoming drawing can be purchased up to a specific time in each major province or territory that participates in Lotto Max. The cutoff time for ticket sales is:

  • Atlantic Canada: 11:29 PM AST (10:29 PM EST)
  • Québec: 10:30 PM EST
  • Ontario: 10:30 PM EST
  • Western Canada: 9:30 PM CST/8:30 PM MST/7:30 PM PST (10:30 PM EST)
  • British Columbia: 7:30 PM PST (10:30 PM EST)

Play Lotto Max for A Chance to Win Big!

Lotto Max is notable for how many different ways you can win money, and personally, that sits awfully well with me. What I’ve come to realize is that many other lotteries are simple match games, and not all offer prizes for matching as little as 3 numbers. For comparison, a 3 number match in Lotto Max wins $20, whereas a 3 number match in the United States Powerball lottery is only worth $9.60 (US$7). The bonus number can make lower prizes equal to some of the top prizes in other games. What I love the most is that with the addition of MaxMillions and the EXTRA play, there are second and third chances at your single ticket purchase to reward you with big prizes, too. There’s a reason Lotto Max is so popular across Canada—there are so many chances to win big!

Last Updated: January 11, 2024
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