Five of the Biggest Ever Lottery Payouts in Canada
When searching Canadian lottery history, many people in the country might remember the Olympic Lottery, intended to raise funds for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.
Many people may not realize that was Canada’s first national lottery. The success of the Olympic Lottery led to the creation of other national lotteries, such as Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max, which remain popular today.
Over the years national lotteries in Canada have raised billions for charitable causes and community programs, in particular around healthcare, education and social services. It’s a fun way for Canadians to go for winning lottery numbers, win big prizes and change their lives.
Canada's Lottery Games
Lotto 6/49 is played across Canada. It’s pretty straightforward – players choose six numbers from a pool of 49 and if they match all six numbers they win the jackpot. There are also secondary prizes for matching five, four, or three numbers.
Lotto Max is another lottery played across Canada. Players choose seven numbers from a pool of 50, and if they match all seven numbers, they win the jackpot. There are secondary prizes for matching six, five, four or three numbers there as well.
With the Daily Grand, grand prize winners get $1,000 per day for the rest of their lives.
The Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC) was established by the five provincial/regional lottery organizations in Canada – Ontario Lottery and Gaming Association (OLG), Atlantic Lottery Corp (ALC) (comprised of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and NFLD), Loto Quebec (LQ), Western Canada Lottery Corp (WCLC) (comprised of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut), and British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) – to operate these national lottery games. Give them credit – responsible gambling is very much a focus. And all are online lottery platforms.
There are, of course, several provincial lotteries in Canada as well. OLG has LOTTARIO, Ontario 49, PICK 2,3,4, Daily KENO, and Proline, for example.
Who are the biggest lottery winners in Canada? As Tony Bitonti, a spokesperson from OLG, says, you can’t answer that, since the top national lottery prize payout is $70 million for Lotto Max, so it’s more a question of who has been winning $70 million lately. For Lotto 6/49, the jackpot cap is $68 million.
Since the Lotto Max jackpot cap was raised to $70 million in May 2019, there have been 13 winning tickets to hit that number across Canada (in one draw, there were two winning tickets, so the jackpot was split, each ticket holder received $35 million).
Five Latest Max Money Canada Lottery Winners
Here are the last five $70 million Lotto Max winners, and the region where the tickets were sold:
Dec. 17, 2021: OLG
Manoharan Ponnuthurai from Brampton, Ont., took home the big prize after playing the lottery faithfully for 30 years. He won $2,800 once, he told CTV News, but nothing ever close to $70 million. He runs a manufacturing company and said with employees relying on him, he had no plans to retire – but was going to buy a new house for his family.
April 1, 2022: WCLC
Regina resident Dale McEwen took home $70 million, the largest win ever in the Western Canada lottery region. As he told the WCLC site, dreaming about winning and actually winning are two entirely different things.
Place bets on lottery results at Lottoland
June 7, 2022: LQ
Marcel Lussier, a resident of Montreal’s south shore and a retired Hydro environmental engineer, won $70 million and told CityNews he planned to give back – including helping to build a center for the autistic community locally.
June 28, 2022: OLG (prize still unclaimed!)
Oct. 21, 2022: WCLC
It was three weeks before Calgary resident Mitchel Dyck even knew he had a $70 million winning ticket, according to a story on CTV. He had a cashier scan the ticket and suddenly his life had been changed. Dyck said the money is in the hands of a private banker who will help him manage it.
What are the odds of winning a national lottery like Lotto Max? According to the OLG website the odds of coming up with winning lottery numbers is 1 in 33,294,800. But Canadians line up faithfully every day across the country to buy their tickets anyway, all for a shot at the dream life.
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