Lotto Max is a Canadian lottery game coordinated by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, as one of the country's three national lottery games. Introduced on September 19, 2009, with its first draw occurring on September 25, 2009, the game replaced Lotto Super 7. Lotto Max drawings are held every Friday.
Lotto Max is played similarly to its predecessor, with players selecting seven numbers from a field of 49. A single board costs $5, and each purchased board also includes two additional quick picks. The main drawing features a jackpot prize starting at CDN$10 million. After the jackpot reaches at least $50 million, additional drawings are held for auxiliary "MaxMillions" prizes of $1 million each; the main jackpot is capped at $60 million. MaxMillions prizes are carried over until they are won, and additional MaxMillions prizes are added for each week a main jackpot of at least $50 million is not won. Once a jackpot is won, unclaimed MaxMillions prizes, if any, are placed in the main jackpot on top of the $10 million minimum. As with all Canadian lottery jackpot games, winners receive their prizes in a tax-free lump sum.
The launch of Lotto Max was successful, attracting higher revenue in its first 10 months of operation than Super 7 did in its best year of sales. A representative of OLG attributed Lotto Max's popularity to the size of its total prize pools (which approach the larger jackpots seen in U.S. lotteries), and the perception of consumers that the MaxMillions system increased the probability that they could win a major prize. In May 2019, the game will introduce a series of major changes, including two draws per-week, a larger jackpot cap (albeit with the field of numbers increased to 50), and additional prize tiers.
The Lotto Max game is administered by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, a consortium of the five regional lottery corporations in Canada.
Each of these corporations operate a regional add-on games that, for an extra $1 each, can be added to a Lotto Max ticket. This "spiel" game (named "Tag", "Encore" or "Extra" depending on the region), adds a 6- or 7-digit number to the ticket with a top prize of $100,000 if all six digits are matched or $250,000 to $1,000,000 depending on the region for a seven-number match ($1,000,000 in Ontario and Quebec; $250,000 in the Western Canada region of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the territories).
Similarly to Lotto 6/49, Loto-Québec and the Western Canada Lottery Corporation also run local versions of Lotto Max, known as Québec Max and Western Max respectively. These draws are held on the same night as each Lotto Max draw and have similar payouts, but with a fixed jackpot of $2,000,000, and additional drawings for a pool of 7 (Quebec) or 10 (Western) $1,000,000 prizes on each draw, similarly to MaxMillions. Lotto Max selection slips offer the ability for players to choose between Lotto Max, the regional game, or to play both games using the same numbers.
* When applicable. The 6+/7 pool swells with a $60 million capped jackpot as excess funds not used toward a MaxMillions prize goes into this pool. When a capped jackpot is won, the MaxMillions prizes not won go towards the next jackpot cycle, often resulting in a starting jackpot above $10 million.
The main jackpot was initially capped at $50 million. The July 17, 2015 draw increased this cap to $60 million.In November 2018, the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation announced upcoming changes to Lotto Max that will begin with the May 14, 2019 draw. The field of numbers will increase to 50 (changing the odds of a jackpot win to 1 in 33 million), the main jackpot cap will increase again to $70 million, new prizes will be added for matching 4 or 5 numbers and the bonus number, and the game will add a second weekly draw on Tuesdays. Organizers stated that the changes would help Lotto Max reach higher jackpots more often.
The July 17, 2015 drawing was the first held under new rules allowing the main jackpot to exceed $50 million. The $55 million prize was won by a group of 20 employees of a Rona store in Quebec. At the time, it was the second-largest lottery jackpot in Canadian history, behind a $63.4 million Lotto 6/49 drawing in 2013. The first ever Lotto Max drawing for $60 million occurred September 25, 2015, with a single winning ticket sold in Brampton, Ontario.
The July 6, 2012 drawing was the first to offer a major prize pool (for matching all 7 numbers exactly) of $100 million, with a $50 million jackpot and 50 of the $1 million MaxMillions prizes. Three consecutive weeks of rollovers fuelled the large payout, which marked the largest Lotto Max drawing under the previous caps. This combination of a $50 million jackpot and 50 of the $1 million MaxMillions prizes, totalling $100 million in main prizes, has been replicated on other occasions, including June 2015.With the increase of the main jackpot's cap to $60 million, a new record was established on the August 12, 2016 draw with a $60 million jackpot and 42 MaxMillions prizes, totalling $102 million in main prizes. The jackpot had rolled over for eight consecutive weeks, fuelling the new prize pool record. This record was repeated on the January 6, 2017 draw.After a June 8, 2018 draw with a record of 50 MaxMillions prizes, the record was surpassed again in October 2018, where the October 26 draw featured 55 MaxMillions prizes, totalling $115 million in prizes. A winning ticket was sold in Edmonton.