Ontario Lottery Games
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation offers a broad choice of games for people who enjoy a flutter online or in person. There are several daily draw games, as well a range of instant scratchcard-style games.
Ontarians can also take part in multi-province games with jackpot payouts. Let’s look in more detail at some of the Ontario Lottery games you can play.
Canada Draw Games
There are three jackpot draw games you can play in Ontario, alongside people from across the nation. These games are overseen by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, which is co-owned by five regional lottery organisations, including the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. In each case, the chances of your winning numbers scooping the big prize are small – the lottery can be fun, but it's an expensive not a source of profit for almost everyone who plays.
Multi-Province Draw Games
The three games listed above are the only games in which people across Canada can take part together. There are other lotto games that are held in various provinces, but each one is administered by the relevant lottery and gaming corporation.
As a result, the prize pools available tend to be smaller than the life-changing sums on offer in multi-province games. Residents of, and visitors to, Ontario can play the following Ontario online lottery and in-person games.
Instant Win Games
As we have seen already there are many Ontario Lottery games that have an instant-win element about them, as well as the chance to join a draw with prizes at stake. If you check out the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation website at OLG.ca, you’ll also find more than two dozen purely instant games.
These are presented in a variety of formats, and in most instances you can play for as little as 50 cents. You can try out any game to see whether it’s the one for you by opting for demo play mode, which allows you to try it for free.
Ontario Lottery Scratch Tickets
As well as the many Ontario online lottery options, you can enter games at nearly 10,000 retail stores and other in-person outlets. The scratch card options you can get from retailers start at $1, though you can invest considerably more if you wish.
Games like Plinko, The Bigger Spin and Bingo Multiplier are available for play across the province and give you find out instantly whether you are a winner or not.
❓ How to Claim Lottery Winnings
There are several ways to claim your money if you are an in-person or Ontario online lottery winner. If you win a prize of less than $1,000, you can take your winning ticket to one of the nearly 10,000 lottery retailers across the province. Don't forget to sign your ticket! The money will be paid either in cash or on to your credit or debit card.
If you have a winning ticket worth more than $1,000, make your claim online. And if you are a winner on an online game, your payout will be added to your OLG.ca account. Should your prize be more than $50,000, you will be invited to attend an interview at the OLG prize centre in Toronto.
Sports Picks Games
As well as the draws and instant games, you can also gamble on a selection of Sport Select titles:
Pro-Line This is the most popular type of sport-themed game available through the Ontario online lottery. You can place fixed-odds wagers, but not on single matches; you must compile parlay bets that must have at least three legs.
Pools The Pools section of the Pro-Line site offers you the opportunity to select a variety of outcomes on a particular sporting event. If you are one of the bettors who gets the most right, you pick up a share of the prize pool.
Point Spread Point spread games work in the same way as point spreads with conventional sports betting companies. You have to predict whether or not a team will win by more than the stated margin.
Props You can also gamble on the outcome of a variety of proposition bets. These are wagers not related to the result of the game in question and they can include first-scorer and over/under markets.
Responsible Lottery Playing
Like every respectable gaming commission, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation takes seriously its responsibility to ensure its players are keeping their wagering under control at all times.
Among its extensive responsible gambling resources are PlaySmart.ca, a “knowledge hub” full of advice for keeping your play enjoyable. There are also tools to regulate the amount of time and money you spend, as well as self-exclusion assistance.
You can also find links to agencies with expertise in this field. They include ConnexOntario, which provides a free 24/7 helpline, and the Responsible Gambling Council.
The most common cause of problem gambling issues are lotteries. They should be approached with caution.
What is PlaySmart?
PlaySmart.ca is a comprehensive gambling education resource that provides information, tools and advice to help players make smart choices and keep the games fun. The website describes itself as a "gambling encyclopedia" and it offers a variety of resources, including tips on how to play as well as game odds and strategies. The site also hosts a set of tools to help you customize your time and betting budget, understand your play habits or take a break when you need it. And, if playing ever stops being fun, PlaySmart has Responsible Gambling resources to help you.
Ontario Lottery History
The history of the Ontario Lottery dates back to 1975, when the Ontario Lottery Corporation was established. The first game offered, Wintario, went live in the April of that year, with the first draw the following month.
The Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, which administers games across Canada, was set up in 1976. In the years since, the number and range of lottery games available to players purely within Ontario and throughout the nation has grown steadily.
Lotto 6/49 was the first inter-province game, launched in 1982. It was followed by Lotto Max in 2009 and Daily Grand in 2016. Since 2015, when the PlayOLG.ca website was launched, it has been possible to play games online and through your mobile device.
The lottery is immensely popular in Ontario. It has been estimated that about 5.7 million residents are regular players – which equates to 38 per cent of the province’s adults. Its popularity undoubtedly contributed to the province’s decision to permit legalized Ontario online casino play and sports betting in 2022.
The Ontario Lottery is a non-profit organisation, in that all its profits go to good causes, which means a windfall of more than $1 billion a year for community projects in the province.
Ontario Lottery FAQ
You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase lottery tickets in Ontario.
Yes, you can. You can purchase tickets online at the OLG.ca website that allow you to participate in a host of lottery games. Games can also be accessed through the OLG app, which is available for both iPhone and Android device users.
To buy lottery tickets online in Ontario, you can sign up for an account at OLG.ca. Once you have signed up, you can add funds to your account and choose a game to play.
If you win a prize of up to $1,000 on an Ontario province lottery game or a multi-province title, you can claim your prize in cash from any of the nearly 10,000 outlets that have a lottery terminal. If you win more than $1,000 you will have to submit your claim online.
That depends how much you win. If your prize is $1,000 or less, you will not have to give your name. But the identities of winners of prizes over that amount are published on the OLG website, and winners of huge jackpots should expect to be photographed. However, exemptions have been granted on a few occasions.
It depends on the draw you are taking part in. In most instances, however, you can purchase a ticket until virtually the last minute. It is worth checking online to see if there are earlier deadlines that apply to any of the games at the Ontario Lottery.
If you win a prize in most of the draw games, you have exactly a year to claim your money. Famously, a $70 million prize drawn in June 2022 went unclaimed for the whole 12 months. For instant games, the expiry date is printed on the back of your ticket.
The good news is that the Canadian government does not view lottery winnings as taxable income. That’s right; if you win $1 million on an Ontario Lottery game, you get to keep every last dollar of it. This is in contrast to the situation in the USA, where the IRS treats gambling payouts as fair game.
Taking part in any lottery game is a matter of risk and reward. The more you are hoping to win, the smaller the chances that you actually will. If you simply want to win any prize, the best option is a game like Daily Keno, where you have a one in 13 chance of matching two numbers.
You can claim lottery winnings under $1,000 in cash or by credit/debit (depending on retailer availability) at any OLG Lottery retailer. For prizes of $1,000 or more, you need to visit an OLG Prize Centre in person within one year of the draw date, bringing your winning ticket and valid ID.
You can purchase lottery tickets, including online, until 10:30 PM EST on the day of the draw. This applies to most lottery games, including Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49, Ontario 49, Lottario, Daily Keno, Pick 2, Pick 3 and Pick 4. Refer to the OLG website for the specific cut-off time of any particular game you're interested in.