Claiming a Prize
Where does the Money Go?
Checking and Protecting Your Tickets
More Ways to Play
SCRATCH 'N WIN
Q: What is Western Canada Lottery Corporation?
A: Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) is a non-profit organization authorized to manage, conduct and operate lottery and gaming-related activities for its members, the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut participate as associate members.
Q: What time do I have to purchase my ticket by for tonight’s draw?
A: The purchase cut-off time is 6:00 pm PT/7:00 pm MT/8:00 pm CT the evening of the draw for LOTTO MAX, LOTTO 6/49, WESTERN 649, WESTERN MAX and PICK 3 tickets.
Q: Can I buy WCLC lottery products over the Internet?
A: No, we don’t sell our products on the Internet. Our website is intended as an information resource for our players; however, check out Play by Subscription and find out how to never miss a draw!
Q: Should I print my name on the back after I buy my tickets?
A: Yes. Printing your legal name and address on the back of the ticket ensures that no one else can claim any major prize on the ticket if it is lost or stolen. This also makes it easier when you take your tickets to be checked, as lottery Retailers cannot validate tickets without the customer’s name printed on the back of the ticket.
Q: Can I play WCLC's games if I live outside the Prairies or Territories?
A: No. The five lottery regions in Canada do not sell lottery tickets outside their respective borders. Visitors can, of course, purchase tickets when visiting another lottery region, but they must claim all prizes through that region. Most lottery tickets include the name and address of the selling region on the back of the ticket.
Q: I bought a LOTTO 6/49 ticket from another lottery region. When I try to cash them here, the terminals won't validate them. Why?
A: LOTTO 6/49 and LOTTO MAX are national lottery games and are played in five different regions across Canada. Each region maintains its own computer system, so Ticket Terminals can only verify tickets purchased in their own region. To claim a prize on a ticket purchased elsewhere, you can either return to the region where you bought the ticket, or you can mail it to the address on the back of the ticket. Make sure your name and return address are printed in the Claim Form.
Q: How can I check my lottery ticket?
A: It does not take long to check your Selections, and this way you will know if you have won a prize and how much that prize is.
Q. What can I do if I discover a prize win worth more than $1,000 in the evening or on the weekend, when prize offices are closed? How can I protect my ticket?
A: If you haven’t already, print your legal name, address and daytime telephone number on the back of your winning ticket. This prevents anyone else from claiming the prize, as all players who claim a prize through a Prize Payout Office must present identification. Any changes to the information on the back of the ticket have to be investigated before the prize can be paid.
Also make sure any large winning tickets are kept in a safe place until you can collect the prize. To make prize claim arrangements, call Customer Care at 1-800-665-3313 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.
Q: What do I do if I have a problem checking my ticket at the store?
A: If you experience any difficulty while checking your tickets, or have any concerns about a lottery Retailer, you can contact us via email or by phone at 1-800-665-3313, and follow the directions to speak with Customer Care. We are available Monday to Friday during regular business hours. Please have ready as much detail about the incident as possible.
Q: I’ve won a prize – how can I claim my money?
A: Congratulations! For claim instructions, please call Customer Care at 1-800-665-3313 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday. More prize claim information can also be found here.
Q: If I win a major prize, do I need to have my picture taken?
A: Yes. Under WCLC Rules and Regulations, the Corporation has no obligation to pay a prize unless the winner gives WCLC the right to publish the winner's name, city or town of residence and/or recent photograph. Names and photographs of major lottery winners are publicized to protect the integrity of the games – it verifies that prizes are won and shows that winners come from every walk of life.
Q: I purchased a ticket while visiting the Prairies and Territories. How do I claim my prize?
A: You can claim your prize by mailing your ticket to:
Western Canada Lottery Corporation, Prize Payout
10th Floor, 125 Garry Street
Be sure to print your legal name, address and a daytime phone number of the back of any tickets you are sending. A winner's interview and photo are required for all claims of $10,000 or more.
Q: Are lottery winnings taxable?
A: No. All cash and merchandise prizes paid by WCLC are tax-free within Canada. However, prizes with an annuity option may have tax implications if the annuity is selected.
Q: I found a LOTTO 6/49 ticket in my junk drawer that is over a year old. Can I still claim a prize?
A: No. All lottery tickets have specific expiry dates and no prizes can be paid after that time.
Q: What happens with lottery prize money that is not claimed?
A: Unclaimed prizes on national games are returned to players through guaranteed Jackpots and Bonus draws. Unclaimed prizes on regional games are used to enhance existing prize structures, or are returned to the member provinces and territories as revenue.
Q: Where does the money go?
A: Of every dollar spent on Lottery tickets, approximately 51.5 percent goes back to players in the form of prizes. Lottery retail commissions are approximately 6.5 percent of sales. Western Canada Lottery Corporation operating expenses are approximately 7.0 percent of sales with ticket printing accounting for an additional 1.1 percent. The remaining 33.9 percent is revenue returned to WCLC's members - the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and associate members Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Revenue is based on sales from each member province or territory. Each provincial and territorial government establishes its own priorities for disbursement of Lottery funds.
Q: My LOTTO 6/49 ticket does not show a ‘Bonus’ number.
A: A Bonus number is drawn in addition to the game’s main winning numbers for LOTTO 6/49, LOTTO MAX, WESTERN 649 and WESTERN MAX, and it does not appear on your ticket. Several prize categories pay prizes when you match the Bonus number - visit the game pages for details.
Q: Do you have a form for lottery groups?
A: Yes. WCLC provides a Group Buying Agreement (GBA) as a way to help lottery groups coordinate who is participating. You can find an electronic copy of the GBA on the Downloads Page. Your group can also create its own form. For more details, visit Group Play.
Such a form will not eliminate all risks of dispute, but it certainly may reduce them.
Q: Does WCLC require a copy of our Group Buying Agreement?
A: No. Unless a group is claiming a lottery prize from a Prize Payout Office, the GBA is for the group's own records and does not have to be registered with WCLC.
Q: What name or names should we print on the back of our group tickets?
A: We suggest that the group Trustee (administrator) print or legibly sign his or her name on the back of the ticket after purchase and then write the words “In Trust” after the name. This indicates the ticket is a group ticket.
Q: When I have our group’s tickets checked at Retail, what do I get back from the Retailer to show my group members?
A: Any winning tickets that the Retailer pays a prize on are handled under a ‘Tear & Return’ policy. Therefore, we suggest groups provide photocopies of their tickets (with the bar code blacked out) to give to each member prior to the draw. However, all non-winning tickets and Validation Slips are to be returned to the player in one piece.
Q: If our lottery group does win a major prize, how are the cheques distributed?
A: For any winning ticket, only one prize cheque can be issued - to a maximum of two people. If there are multiple holders of a winning ticket – as with a group win - WCLC pays the complete prize to the individual designated by the group as its Trustee. The Trustee would then disburse it to the remainder of the group.
Annuity - An annuity is a type of long-term investment.
Selection - A Selection is one line of lottery numbers.
Board - A Board is found on a Selection Slip and contains a range of numbers for you to select for that game.
Quick Pick - A Quick Pick is a selection of numbers generated by the Ticket Terminal.
Jurisdiction –WCLC’s jurisdiction includes the three Prairie Provinces and three Territories. The other four Canadian lottery jurisdictions are BC, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
National game – National games like LOTTO MAX and LOTTO 6/49 are games that all five lottery jurisdictions participate in. Keep in mind, each jurisdiction has its own computer system and is responsible for paying prizes on tickets recorded in their system.
Regional game – Regional games are only available for play in the Prairies and Territories. This includes WESTERN 649, WESTERN MAX, PICK 3, EXTRA, SPORT SELECT and SCRATCH 'N WIN.
Pari-mutuel share - A Pari-mutuel share is a calculation where the total monies allocated to a prize category are divided by the total number of winners in that category.
Group Buying Agreement – A form WCLC provides as a convenience for players participating in a lottery group. Refer to Group Play for more information.
Q: I received an email/letter/phone call from Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) saying that my name was selected and I won a lottery prize. I can claim the prize if I send the necessary payment for the taxes and/or service charges associated with the prize. Is this legitimate?
A: The notification you received was not from WCLC and we can assure you that you have not won a prize from WCLC. We do not charge taxes or service fees on any of our games. Further, in order to win a prize on our games players must first purchase a ticket while in our jurisdiction. WCLC does not sell its products or solicit sales over the Internet or outside of our jurisdiction of the Canadian Prairie Provinces and Territories, nor do we authorize anyone to do so on our behalf.
A number of these solicitations (scams) unfortunately occur from time to time and they often use logos or names of WCLC and other companies. Please do not – under any circumstances – provide funds or personal information to the person who contacted you. Ignore the request!
WCLC has forwarded information regarding various scams to local authorities and to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, a fraud task force comprised of members of several Canadian police organizations, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
If you called the number on the letter and have spoken with someone or sent money, you may wish to contact PhoneBusters. They can be contacted at 1-888-495-8501 (within Canada and the United States), at 705-495-8501 (if overseas) or through their website e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre lines can be busy, so please leave a message and someone will return your call. You may also wish to contact your local authorities.
Q: What time are the draws held?
A: All draws take place shortly after the ticket purchase cut-off time of 6:00 pm PT/7:00 pm MT/8:00 pm CT the evening of the draw.
Q: Where do the draws take place?
A: Draws for national games like LOTTO 6/49 and LOTTO MAX take place in a secure location in Toronto, Ontario, and are conducted by Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC) under the management of its members, the five Canadian lottery regions.
Draws for regional games - including WESTERN 649, WESTERN MAX and PICK 3 - are conducted by WCLC in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Q: How do the draws for regional games like WESTERN 649 work?
A: Draws for WCLC’s regional games – WESTERN 649, EXTRA, PICK 3 and WESTERN MAX - are done on stand-alone computerized draw machines, and stringent controls and security measures are in place for each regional game draw.
Two computerized draw machines are available for each draw, and they are located in a secure location that is monitored by video surveillance 24 hours a day. An external auditor, who oversees the draw, selects which draw machine is to be used for any given draw. Security personnel attend each draw, and all draws are videotaped using an automated time-date stamp.
The computerized draw machines' Random Number Generators were initially tested by two independent laboratories to ensure the randomness of their number selection. Draw software was also tested independently and certified as accurate. Independent testing of randomness and software continues from time to time, and it is mandatory when regional games are added or removed, or significant changes are made to existing games.
Q: What are the largest Jackpots won in Canada?
Top LOTTO 6/49 Jackpot Amounts Won
(June 12, 1982 – present)
A: While most players would be happy to win a $1 Million or $2 Million Jackpot, our research has shown that the majority of players prefer to purchase lottery tickets for a chance to win a larger, “life-changing” Jackpot. In the past, we’ve offered Bonus draws in which several smaller Jackpot prizes were made available. These promotions were not as successful in generating increased sales as Bonus draws offering larger Jackpots. In fact, the lack of sales increase indicated little player interest in the multiple smaller Jackpots.
Bigger Jackpots also generate excitement and lead to group play and more tickets sold. Because of this, large Jackpots often go to multiple winners, who each receive a more moderate prize. The largest lottery Jackpot ever offered in Canada – $54.3 Million on the October 26, 2005 LOTTO 6/49 draw – was won by a group of 17 co-workers in Alberta.
Q: Why is the term "guaranteed" used to describe some lottery Jackpots, while "estimated" is used to describe others?
A: The five Canadian lottery regions "guarantee" some Jackpot amounts on LOTTO 6/49 to provide larger top prizes to players. "Guaranteed" Jackpot amounts are not normally funded by player sales alone, so promotional funding is added by the regions to ensure the guaranteed amount is met.
"Estimated" Jackpot amounts are an estimate of what the final Jackpot will be, and are based on the anticipated player sales. The final Jackpot amount may be higher or lower than the original estimate, dependent on the actual sales for the draw.
Q: How do I win on WESTERN MAX?
A: To win or share the $2 Million Top Prize for the main draw, one of your selections must exactly match all seven main winning numbers drawn for the eligible draw date. There are also subsidiary prizes to be won for matching as few as three of the winning main draw numbers on one line of your ticket. To win or share one of the additional $1 Million prizes, you must exactly match all seven numbers from one of the seven additional sets of winning numbers. There are no subsidiary prizes.
Q: Why don't WESTERN MAX Jackpots increase when the Top Prize or some of the additional $1 Million prizes aren't won?
A: Because it's only available within the Prairie Provinces and Territories, WESTERN MAX has about 15% of the player base of the national lottery games like LOTTO MAX and LOTTO 6/49. The game was therefore designed to offer the same Top Prizes to players on every draw. If WESTERN MAX had been designed with rolling jackpots, those jackpots would have started at a much lower level. With WESTERN MAX's current structure, a $2 Million Top Prize and seven $1 Million prizes will always be available, whether or not some or all of them were won the week before. The weeks when the top prizes are not won essentially pay for subsequent prizes when there is a winner.
Q: How long do I have to claim WESTERN MAX prizes?
A: Like most other lottery tickets for lottery draw games offered by WCLC, WESTERN MAX prizes can be claimed for one year following the draw date.
Q: What is the minimum prize I can win playing LOTTO 6/49?
A: The minimum prize on LOTTO 6/49 is $5 by matching two main numbers and the Bonus on one line.
Q: I purchased a seven-number combination on LOTTO 6/49, which cost $14, but why does my ticket only show one set of numbers?
A: Your ticket will only show seven numbers, but the computer uses those seven numbers to arrange all possible six-number Selections, so in fact, seven Selections are registered in the Central Computer System.
For example, if you choose 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; your seven Selections are:
You can find more information about Combo Play on the website here!
Q: I received a LOTTO 6/49 and WESTERN 649 Quick Pick with the same numbers. How is this possible?
A: It sounds like you received a Play Both. This option allows players to play the same Selections for both LOTTO 6/49 and WESTERN 649, excluding the additional WESTERN 649 Quick Pick Selection. Play Both costs $3 per play and is available by marking the Play Both box on a LOTTO 6/49 or WESTERN 649 Selection Slip or by asking for a Play Both Quick Pick. For more ways to play your favourite lottery games, click here.
Q: I matched five main numbers on WESTERN 649. How much did I win?
A: WESTERN 649 prizes are set, so the prize for matching five main numbers (not including the Bonus number) is always $500. You can view the complete WESTERN 649 prize structure in the Games section or click here.
Q: Do I win anything if I match the first digit of EXTRA?
A: No. The EXTRA only pays for matching all 7 digits, or the last 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 digits, in the correct order. You can find the complete EXTRA prize structure in the Games section, or click here.
Q: I matched the last two EXTRA digits, but when I took it to the store, it didn’t register for a prize. Why?
A: In order for the EXTRA number to be eligible for a draw, the word “ENTERED” must appear above the EXTRA number. If it reads, “NOT ENTERED” you wouldn’t be eligible for any prize. You should also make sure the winning EXTRA number corresponds to the date on your ticket.
Q: Is there an option to purchase my WESTERN MAX, WESTERN 649, LOTTO MAX and LOTTO 6/49 Quick Pick tickets all at the same time?
A: Yes! We offer several convenient packages for players to request tickets for their favourite games. Click here to read about More Ways to Play!
Q: Why can't I pick three of the same numbers while choosing Box Play?
A: If all three numbers chosen are the same, there is only one possible outcome and therefore the Selection can only be played using Straight Play. Box Play allows the player to play one 3-digit number in various combinations to win prizes.
Q: On the back of all SCRATCH ‘N WIN tickets, there is the line that states “Numbers in the area marked “CNTL. NO.” cannot be used to win a prize.” What does this mean?
A: The “CNTL. NO” (Control Number) is concealed under the latex in one of the Play Areas on the front of the ticket. It consists of four digits used to help determine if a SCRATCH ‘N WIN ticket is a winner. To check to see if a ticket is entitled to a prize, a Retailer must scan the barcode on the back of the ticket and manually enter the Control Number. Until a ticket is scratched, the Retailer cannot complete the validation to determine whether or not a ticket has won a prize. Because the Control Number is related to the validation, these numbers are not part of the game and can’t be used to win a prize.
Q: Where can I find how many prizes are still available on a certain SCRATCH ‘N WIN ticket?
A: You can find what prizes of $100 or more are remaining on current SCRATCH ‘N WIN tickets on the SCRATCH ‘N WIN page. Look for the Top Prizes Remaining link.
Q. What are the benefits of MVP Service?
A: When you sign up for MVP Service, you can choose to receive emails letting you know the winning LOTTO MAX and LOTTO 6/49 numbers on the night of the draw, as well as alerts about the upcoming Jackpot amounts.
You also have the option of receiving email notifications about special offers and promotions.
Q: I’m a current MVP Service user, and I logged in and received a verification email. What is this for?
A: All MVP Service existing and new users are being asked to verify their email address to make sure they are receiving the alerts they signed up for. Simply click on the link within the email you received to verify that your email is a valid address.
Q. When I try to sign up for MVP Service, why do I see a message that says “email address is already in use"?
A: This message means that you or someone else in your household has already registered using that email address. Any email address can only be used to create one player profile. If two people usually share the same email, and both wish to create a player profile, one will have to use a different email address.
Q. Is the personal information I enter to register for MVP Service protected?
A: Yes. The MVP Service portion of our website is SSL Secured using 128-bit encryption. All information collected on the site is used for the purposes agreed to by the user, and the information collected will not be used for any other purposes, and WCLC does not share, sell or transfer personal information that it collects to unaffiliated third parties for their own marketing efforts.
Q. I’m trying to register, but it tells me my postal code isn’t a valid entry. What’s wrong?
A. Postal codes should contain six characters with no spaces. The first, third and fifth characters must be letters (A-Z), and the second, fourth and sixth characters must be numbers (0-9).
When entering your postal code, please ensure you do not include any spaces between characters. In addition, please double-check that you do not substitute letters for numbers (i.e. the letter "O" in place of the digit "0") or vice versa.
Q. What's the difference between an HTML email and a Plaintext email?
A: Emails sent in HTML format can display images, graphics and links within the email, while Plaintext emails only contain unformatted text, with no images, graphics or links. If you're not sure about your email program, select Plaintext as your email format.
Q. What can I do if I no longer want to receive emails from MVP Service or if I’m going away for awhile on holidays?
Although it’s not possible to remove your own account from MVP Service, if you no longer want to be registered, send us an email explaining your request along with the email address you registered with, and we can remove your account.
Q: How do I print the Winning Numbers?
A: A "Print Here" icon appears on the Home Page and the Past Winning Numbers pages for LOTTO MAX, LOTTO 6/49, WESTERN 649, WESTERN MAX and PICK 3; all KENO "Winning Numbers by Day" pages. This lets you print condensed version of these pages.
When you click on “Print Here”, a new window, containing a concise version of the page, will open. When you are finished printing, you can close the window by clicking the "X" in the top right hand corner of the window with your mouse.
If you still can't find the answer to your question, please contact us.