The largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot in history could be won with the game’s next draw on Saturday.
The Gold Ball jackpot stands at $66 million, marking the largest jackpot in 6/49 history, whether before or after changes were made to the way the game is played in 2022.
The classic jackpot, meanwhile, remains at its fixed $5 million.
The Lotto 6/49 format changed in September 2022, with the main “Classic Draw” — where players select their numbers or choose a quick pick — fixed at a $5-million jackpot.
The $1-million guaranteed prize, meanwhile, became the Gold Ball Draw.
The Gold Ball Draw guarantees that a winner will take home either $1 million or a growing jackpot that starts at $10 million and can reach $68 million.
“We have 29 white balls, each representing the guaranteed $1-million prize, and one gold ball, representing the growing jackpot, in the draw,” OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti explained.
“If a white ball is drawn, the guaranteed $1-million prize is won. That ball is removed, leaving 28 white balls and one gold ball for the next draw, and the jackpot grows by $2 million.”
That process continues until the gold ball is drawn.
Currently, one white ball and one gold ball are left. The gold ball could be drawn on Saturday, meaning someone would take home $66 million.
If it isn’t drawn Saturday and someone instead wins the $1-million prize, then the gold ball jackpot will grow to $68 million and someone will be guaranteed to win that prize on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
“We have never been able to say that before – so this will be historic for this lottery game,” Bitonti said.
“With Lotto Max, which has the $70-million jackpot cap, we can’t say when the jackpot will be won, but with 6/49 we can guarantee that someone will win the jackpot if we get to $68 million.”
The previous record for a Lotto 6/49 gold ball jackpot was $64 million. Earlier this year, a ticket purchased in New Brunswick won that prize.
Prior to the changes in 2022, a $64 million 6/49 jackpot was won by a Mississauga, Ont., woman on Oct. 17, 2015.