Canada is a country with a plethora of lottery games. The reason for this vast array of lottery games is obvious. Lotteries ameliorate the standards of living of many citizens and residents through their prizes especially their jackpots. Lottery jackpots have been known to change the lives of many by making them millionaires overnight. In addition to the prizes which these lotteries give out, they also play a major part in the socio-economic development of the nation. In addition to the fact that a portion of the funds lotteries collect to support good causes – health, education, sports and social welfare among others, they are also known to be some of the highest tax-paying organizations in the country. Some of Canada’s lotteries are the Lotto Max, the Lottario, the Pick 3, the Daily Grand, the Lotto 6/49 and the Western 6/49 among many others.
The Western 6/49 lottery is a lottery exclusive to the West of the country. This lottery game is available exclusively to residents of the Prairie Provinces and the Territories. It is operated and managed by a non-profit organization known as Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC). The WCLC is a Regional Marketing Branch of the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation – the organization in charge of managing and conducting national lotteries in the country. The first draw for the Western 6/49 took place on the 10th February 1999.
Playing the Western 6/49
To play the Western 6/49, players are required to pick 6 numbers from a field of 49 numbers. Players can play a maximum of six plays on a single ticket with each play costing $1. Playing the game is easy. Simply mark the 6 numbers you wish to play on a Western 6/49 selection slip. Alternatively, you can request a Quick Pick from the retailer or check the Quick Pick box on your selection slip. This option allows the terminal to choose and play six random numbers on behalf of the player. Players of the Western 6/49 can also play the Lotto 6/49 on the same selection slip by simply checking the Play Both box. Some play options include:
- Lotto Packs
Using Lotto packs are a convenient and very quick way to play the Western 6/49 lottery. These lotto packs are a combination of different lottery games such as the Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49 and the Daily Grand which have been combined into one pack. There are a number of lotto packs available for purchase. The prize of each pack depends on the number of games contained in the pack and the number of lines allowed per game. Some packs have two, three or more games with two, three or more lines per game. To play using a Lotto Pack, simply visit any lottery ticket center and request to play using a lotto pack.
- Group Play
Another method of play is the Group Play. With this method, family, friend or co-workers can put their funds together and play the game to increase their chances of winning the lottery. The administration of lottery ticket purchases and the sharing of lottery prizes is entirely up to the members of the group. However, it is prudent to develop a means of identifying members of the group. WCLA has provided the Group Buying Agreement (GBA) which is a form that will help reduce misunderstandings among members. Using this form is not mandatory but it would be important to have such a document as it will be requested if the group wins a prize that exceeds $1,000.
This document would be expected to contain the name of the group’s trustee, the type of game(s) the group participates in, the name, share, address, telephone number, and signature of each member. If the group membership remains the same for future draw, a single GBA can be made and kept until there is a change in the group. It should be noted that all group members must be at least 18 years.
- Advance Draw
The Advance Draw option allows players to play their selected Western 6/49 numbers for a maximum of 25 future draws. With this option, a player purchases a single ticket which will be used for the number of future draws played. The ticket will carry the number of eligible draws, the numbers selected and the first and last draw dates.
To purchase an Advance Draw ticket, go to any Western 6/49 lottery retailer and request a Quick Pick for your ticket. You can also choose to mark your numbers on the selection slip manually. Once the numbers have been chosen, the retailer will then play the numbers for any number of requested draws up to 25. If an Advance Draw ticket wins a prize before the draws are finished, the player can choose to wait for all the draws to finish or scan it at a retailer or Ticket Checker to check for any prizes won.
- Combo Play
Depending on whether you choose the 5, 7, 8 or 9 Number Combination Pack you choose, you might be requested to pick 5, 7, 8 or 9 numbers. Once the numbers have been chosen either manually or using a Quick Pick, the terminal will combine the numbers chosen in all possible combinations of six. The price of each combo depends on the number of combinations produced by the terminal
- A 5-number combo will produce 44 different sets of six numbers
- A 7-number combo will produce 7 different sets of six numbers
- An 8-number combo will produce 28 different sets of six numbers
- A 9-number combo will produce 84 different sets of six numbers
Winnings and Prizes
Draws for the Western 6/49 take place twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday. Ticket sales close at 7:30 PT (9:30 PM CT) on draw nights. During the draws, 6 numbers are drawn from a drum containing 49 numbers. A 7th ball, the Bonus number is also drawn after the main numbers have been drawn. The jackpot is won by hitting the 6 main numbers. The jackpot amount is $2,000,000 which is shared when more players match the 6 numbers. The 2nd and 6th prizes are the only prize divisions affected by the Bonus number. The 2nd prize is won by matching 5 main numbers plus the Bonus number while the 6th prize requires that a player matches 2 of the main numbers plus the Bonus number.
Other prizes exist for matching 2 to 5 numbers without the Bonus number. The last prize which is a Free Play is won by matching 2 of the 5 main numbers. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 13.98 million while the odds of winning any prize are 1 in 6.6. The latest date to claim a prize is written on the back of the ticket and depending on the prize won, players may have to wait a while to receive their winnings.