There's a new draw with a guaranteed winner.
Loto-Québec is reintroducing the Lotto 6/49 after a pause that the Crown corporation says was due to a labour conflict with its employees. While a revamped version of the game launched in the rest of Canada, Loto-Québec said it was impossible to move to the new system while employees were on strike (their union, for the record, took issue with that stance).
As of September 19, Lotto 6/49 tickets are once again for sale for $3 in Quebec. The next draw will take place on September 21.
Players will recognize the Classic Draw, the familiar, decades-old scheme with a $5 million jackpot, which consists of six numbers between 1 and 49. Loto-Québec puts the chances of winning the jackpot with each ticket at one in 13,983,816.
New in the revamped game is the Tirage Boule d'or, the Golden Ball Draw. Concurrent with the Classic Draw, the Golden Ball Draw will select a single winning ticket number from among those sold in each lottery round. That means there's a guaranteed winner for every game, but also that the chance of possessing a winning ticket is as inversely small as the total number sold.
The prize amount will vary, too. Here's where the golden ball actually enters the game.
Another draw will pull from a collection of 29 white balls, each worth $1 million, and one golden ball worth $10 million.
If a white ball is drawn, the winner walks away with a cool million bucks. The winning white ball is then removed from the pool of balls for the next draw, and the golden ball prize amount is topped up to $2 million. The chances of drawing the golden ball increase with each game, as does the potential reward.
It's possible for the golden ball to reach over $60 million in value if only white balls are drawn for 29 consecutive draws.
Loto-Québec says that lotto 6/49 winnings have totalled more than $8.6 billion in the province since the introduction of the game in 1982.
But despite the allure, your chances of actually winning are negligible.
If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, there are resources available across Canada. Help is available.