Canada Lotto 6/49 review page

Canadian 6/49



Interprovincial lottery corporation
Multi-region lottery




The Canada Lotto 6/49 or Lotto 649 is the oldest of Canada's multi region lotteries and one which has had a revamp in recent years. It is though much smaller than its sister lottery in Canada, the Lotto Max.


Where Available

This lottery is available in Canada. Some lottery concierge or betting companies also offer it in other countries.

How it Works

Date and time of draws

There are two draws of the Canada Lotto 6/49 per week - on a Wednesday and a Saturday at 10.30pm ET.

No. of balls and how to hit the jackpot

Players choose 6 main balls from 49 and 1 bonus ball from 10. The jackpot is won by matching just the 6 main balls with two other prizes using the bonus ball (for 5 plus 1 & 2 plus 1). Players can choose all of their own numbers or can use a quickpick random option. The number for the guaranteed million draw raffle is chosen for them.

Other Variations

There are a few slight variations of the Canada Lotto 6/49 by region. The variation on the game called encore which is also available on other Canadian lottery draws is also available here on the Lotto 6/49. This allows players to enter an additional raffle draw to win up to $1m for a $1 stake. This is different to the 10 digit guaranteed $1m raffle which is included automatically as part of the $3 line and which represents 7% of total payouts on the 6/49. On the guaranteed million raffle, players must match all 10 digits to win $1m. Note that the prize payout is guaranteed so, if 5m tickets are sold, 1 of the 5m numbers will be selected. Interestingly, the $1m guaranteed draw has better odds (and thus RTP) when there are fewer rather than more players taking part. The 10 digit number uses the first two digits to identify the state and the last two the number of lines you have played. Each number is still unique and thus there can only be one winner of the $1m guaranteed draw.

Price, Tickets & Sales

Ticket Price

Lottery ticket cost comparison: Canada Lotto 6/49 vs AverageThis lottery costs C$3 for just the one line, which makes it a little more expensive than all but the UK's Lotto draw.

Tickets Sold Per Draw

The Canada Lotto 6/49 is a mid sized lottery selling around 5m per draw. Ticket numbers can though reach an incredible 50m when jackpots exceed the C$50m mark.

Sales per draw

At $3 per line though the Canada Lotto 6/49 makes it into the top 10 in sales revenues per draw. Per capita, Canadians seem to buy many more lottery tickets than most populations - see also sales of the Lotto Max game.


Prize Table

Odds of hitting the jackpot

The payout table has 7 tiers from the jackpot down to a free ticket. There is also an extra guaranteed $1m raffle prize on each draw too, with 1 winner chosen from all ticket sales. See the table below.

The chance of winning the jackpot is a fairly reasonable 1 in 18m and the chance of winning the raffle 1 in around 5m (when 5m tickets are sold).

Balls and Bonus Balls



6 and 0

5 and 1

5 and 0

4 and 0

3 and 0

2 and 1

2 and 0


















*Average jackpot size when it is hit

** One guaranteed ticket per draw, so if 5.3m tickets are sold on an average draw, the odds are 5.3m to 1

Odds of winning any prize

Meanwhile, the overall chance of winning any prize, including a free ticket is very low at 1 in 6.6 (in line with the other Canadian lottery, the Lotto Max). The easy frequency of any win is one of the best of all lotteries we have looked at.


Minimum jackpot

The reseeding of the jackpot with $5m isn't bad but not as good as the other Canadian favourite Lotto Max. This is probably understandable given the relatively low odds of hitting the jackpot on 6/49. The minimum jackpot itself is hit quite frequently on 6/49 but a contribution to the jackpot isn't made until the $5m has been 'paid for' out of sales. This means that, in contrast to the Lotto Max, the minimum jackpot really is the minimum and if you catch all 6 numbers the draw after a win, you will win just the $5m.

Average jackpot

Jackpots are easier to hit on 6/49 than on Lotto Max and so despite lower sales volumes, they don't rollover too often. And if they do, they remain quite modest. The average jackpot is $7.5m if you play it week in week out.

Average jackpot when hit

Canada Lotto 6/49 jackpots comparisonFor the same reasons, when the jackpot is hit, you're looking at something only a little higher at $10m.

Highest jackpot ever

In theory, the 6/49 jackpot is not capped but given the relatively low odds of hitting the jackpot, it shouldn't reach the heady heights of some other lotteries. That said, the highest jackpot in 2015 of $63m was won by one winner.

Jackpot winners per year

There should be around 40 jackpot winners per year on the Lotto 6/49.

Contribution to the jackpot

The % of sales attributed to the jackpot prize will depend firstly on the total of fixed payouts on the bottom three payout levels. After this the remainder is divided between the top three prize tiers. It also depends on whether the minimum jackpot has been exceeded. The average comes in at around 15% of sales or 32% of prizes..

Return to Player


47% of sales are returned in the form of prizes, of which 40% are returned as 'normal' payouts and 7% in the form of guaranteed millionaire draws ($1m handed out each week to one ticket).

RTP when first seeded

The RTP when the jackpot is first seeded is a very respectable 0.4 (when compared with some lotteries).

Canada's Lotto 6/49 returns to players as prizes

Average RTP

If you're playing on subscription your RTP should reflect the Lottery's own 47% RTP figure.

RTP when jackpot typically hit

If you play though when it gets towards the size when it would typically be hit (at around $10m) then your RTP is 0.54.

Best RTP

If you're happy to wait until it reaches its unusually high rollover sizes of $30m+ then your RTP starts to look interesting. At its highest of $63m the RTP was 1.8, which looks like good value. The problem is that Lotto rollovers are so well publicized in Canada that your chances of sharing a jackpot skyrocket and you'll struggle to find real net value. 

Payouts and Taxes

Annuity vs Cash

The jackpot is a fixed cash prize with no taxes payable.


No tax payable!


Jackpot alerts

Canadian Lotto 6/49 jackpot sizes and alertsWith comparatively low odds of hitting the jackpot it's unlikely it will reach into the big figures. As jackpots are uncapped the RTP can look positive for this lottery but you might have to wait a while. Problem is that the PR machine generates so many ticket sales for the big draws that the value is lost in the high chances of sharing your big jackpot. For this reason,I can't see a way in which, after accounting for the chances of sharing, a jackpot alert can be set which gives real positive value. The guaranteed million raffle each draw makes it more 'equitable' but if that's your thing then you should probably be playing Lotto Max for their Maxmillions games.


Smaller jackpots than Lotto Max but they do on rare occasions roll over to unusually high amounts. Guaranteed $1m draw is a great addition. No taxes or annuity nonsense are also welcome.


Quite an expensive individual ticket especially when compared to Lotto Max (which is itself expensive but does give you three 'shots' at the prizes). RTP generally not too high and a bit too lively when it rolls over!


One for the jackpot alert for the once a year biggies that roll over. See our agents page for the best places to play this lotto online.