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How likely are you to win an Ontario lottery jackpot in 2024?

Click to play video: '‘World’s biggest scavenger hunt’: Search for owner of unclaimed $70 million Ontario lottery ticket'
‘World’s biggest scavenger hunt’: Search for owner of unclaimed $70 million Ontario lottery ticket
RELATED: A lottery ticket worth $70 million sold in Toronto is set to expire, making it the largest unclaimed prize in Canadian lottery history. Mike Drolet explains what might happen if no one comes forward – Jun 28, 2023

As the face of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Tony Bitonti says he lives in “a world of odds, randomness and chance” every day.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” he told Global News.

One thing Bitonti admits is winning one of the OLG’s many lottery competitions is unlikely, though not impossible.

The likelihood you will win a lottery jackpot in Ontario during 2024 is vanishingly small, as it was in 2023. That reality, however, didn’t stop people from buying $4.3 billion of lottery tickets last year.

“They are astronomical odds for any game,” Bitonti said, before channelling an OLF advertisement campaign that pushed people to explore their wildest fantasies of luxury.

“It is a chance to dream and that’s what people are really doing.”

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Data shared with Global News by OLG shows the odds of winning the Lotto Max national jackpot are 1 in 33.2 million, while Lotto 6/49 has odds of 1 in 13.9 million for its classic jackpot.

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Those odds don’t change, Bitonti explained, because winning depends on whether or not the numbers you picked are randomly selected. That means the number of people playing doesn’t actually affect the likelihood you’ll win.

Various side-contests within the two competitions mean the chance of winning any prize at all is 1 in 7 for Lotto Max and 1 in 6.6 for Lotto 6/49.

One part of the lottery competitions where odds do change is Lotto 6/49’s gold ball. That element, Bitonti said, is more like a raffle with a winner selected from each round.

“When you buy one of those tickets, you’re not just competing against folks in Ontario, you’re competing against folks from coast to coast to coast, all across Canada,” Bitonti said.

In 2023, five people won the Lotto Max jackpot and another 19 won the MaxMillions prize of $1 million. Fourteen people won the Lotto 6/49 jackpot, three won the multi-million gold ball and almost 150 won prizes of $1 million each.

Click to play video: 'Torontonian wins largest jackpot in Lotto 6/49 history'
Torontonian wins largest jackpot in Lotto 6/49 history

“It’s incredible the amount of prizes that we do give out,” Bitonti said. “Last year we gave out over $2.5 billion — with a ‘b’ — in prizes. That’s an incredible amount.”

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Despite the extremely long odds of actually scooping the winning ticket, 2023 saw a jackpot of $70 million go unclaimed. After months of appeals and wall-to-wall news coverage, the owner of the winning ticket still failed to come forward.

“It does happen,” Bitonti admitted.

“It doesn’t happen very often – especially for the $70 million prize but for smaller prizes it does.”

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