Ontario 49, a Canadian mid-range lottery, offers familiarity with a dose of the unexpected. Based on the 6/49 lotto format, it’s easy to learn the mechanics of this game, while features like the Encore and Combination Play keep things fresh and exciting. More than that, Ontario 49 also features a fixed $2M jackpot, bi-weekly draws, and tax-free lump sum payouts. What else does it have on tap? Join me as I dive deeper and see what makes Ontario 49 tick!
About Ontario 49
Ontario 49 was launched in 1997, with its first ever draw being held on October of that year. Since April 2000 up to today, the game has been operated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). For the most part, the core concept of the game has more or less remained the same since its launch.
On May 2014, however, several tweaks to the mechanics were introduced. Jackpots were now at $2,000,000, and the chances of winning any prize greatly improved—from 1 in 54 to 1 in 6.6. These changes, along with new prize categories, were seen as welcome changes as they improved Ontario 49 by a great deal.
Some Quick Ontario 49 Facts
- Fixed Jackpot: Unlike other lotteries, Ontario 49 jackpots are of a fixed amount. Good thing is it’s a pretty sizable sum: CA$2,000,000.
- Bi-Weekly Draws: Draws are held every Wednesdays and Saturdays, so you get two chances to win per week.
- Familiar Mechanics: Ontario 49 draws from the classic 6/49 game format so both novices and veterans alike should have no problems learning the ropes.
- 7 Prize Tiers: Ontario 49 features seven prize tiers you win in—where the minimum requirement to win a prize is by matching only two numbers.
- Tax-Free: All Ontario 49 prizes are 100% tax-free at the source.
How Does Ontario 49 Work?
As I mentioned previously, Ontario 49 is based off the oft used 6/49 lottery format. To old hats, playing this game should be second nature. However, if this is your first time playing the lottery, it’s pretty easy to learn. To play, you must pick six numbers from a selection range consisting of the numbers 1 to 49. In addition, a bonus number is also selected—which is used to determine some lower-tier winners.
Speaking of winning, you must match all six numbers to bag the top prize. Meanwhile, matching only five plus the bonus number will award you the second prize tier. In total, there are seven tiers you can win in.
If you’re playing without the help of an online lottery site (i.e. you’re purchasing straight from lottery retailers in Ontario), you can also opt to play the Encore. For an additional CA$1, you will get entry to this bonus game that gives you the chance to win prizes up to CA$1,000,000.
You can also add a Combination Play ticket if you want to win multiple prizes. Combination Play tickets work the same as regular tickets, but these let you play more numbers in the form of five to nine-number combinations. So, if you activate this feature, it will increase your chances of winning. Prices start at $44.
The Odds of Winning
Ontario 49’s odds are pretty much what you would expect from a mid-range lottery. In other words, you won’t be facing long odds found in bigger games—like SuperEnalotto—but you’re still up against a 1 in 13,983,816 chance of winning the jackpot. Check out the quick breakdown below:
|Numbers Matched||Prize||Odds of Winning|
|6||CA$2,000,000||1 in 13,983,816|
|5 + 1||CA$50,000||1 in 2,330,636|
|5||CA$500||1 in 55,492|
|4||CA$50||1 in 1,033|
|3||CA$10||1 in 56.7|
|2 + 1||CA$3||1 in 81.2|
|2||Free Play||1 8.3|
|Odds of Winning Anything||1 in 6.6|
So What Happens if You Win?
If you win in either of the first two tiers, take note that prizes are divided equally should multiple winners come forward. Thankfully, Ontario 49 prizes are paid out as a lump sum and are 100% tax-free, so you won’t have to worry about other deductions.
That said, if you aren’t from Canada you may have to deal with your local tax laws. Similarly, if you played Ontario 49 using a lottery agent service, take note that some services might withhold a percentage of your winnings as commission.
Winners have a year from the draw date to come forward and claim their prize. In the event that prizes go unclaimed, the provincial government will use the funds for various projects that will benefit Ontario residents.
The Biggest Ontario 49 Winners
Thanks to the fixed prize structure of Ontario 49, there aren’t any “biggest winners.” At least, not like other lotteries where players can win varying jackpots. Of course, those who win the top prize here are still considered big winners. Here are some of the winners of Ontario 49 so far:
Some Ontario 49 Fun Facts
- In 2012, a group of friends decided to try their luck on the Ontario 49 game on a whim—only to end up winning CA$1,000,000! Each of the members of the group took home around CAD$47,619.
- Two entities ensure that Ontario 49 adheres to operational and legal standards. The lottery itself is run and operated by the Ontario Lottery Corporation, which is a part of the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation.
- The core mechanics of Ontario 49 has largely remained the same since its inception—save for prizes getting bigger, new prize categories being added and odds getting better.
- Ontario 49 utilizes a traditional, mechanical lottery machine to for drawings instead of an automated computer pumping out numbers.
Bottom Line on Ontario 49
Ontario 49 has a lot of good things going for it. The simple mechanics based on the 6/49 format make it easy for anyone to learn this game in no time, while the various modes of play keep things fresh and exciting. Of course, it also helps that prizes are paid out in cash and are tax-free at the source. While some of the prizes are unimpressive—even with the bonus number matched—the jackpot is quite good for a fixed prize. All in all, Ontario 49 is one lottery game definitely worth checking out.