There’s no denying it: The United States of America has some of the biggest American lottery jackpots in the world. Canada also has some impressive lotteries that can climb to millions of Dollars. Today we’re going to compare the biggest lotteries from the USA and Canada.
Every lottery fan around the world is very familiar with the two biggest US lotteries in the world: the US Powerball and Mega Millions. These two massive lotteries are always in the race to reach the biggest jackpot in the world. Canada is proud of its national lotteries too! They might not get as gigantic as the US Powerball, but they still have amazing prizes up for grabs. For example, the Lotto Max game and Canadian Lotto 6/49 can easily reach jackpots of over 49 million CAD. But let’s take a look at these four games in greater detail.
The history of American Lotteries
Many of the popular lottery games that you play on a regular basis have an old legacy, but which one has the oldest? US Powerball was launched in 1992. At that time, the game was known as “Lotto America”. It was renamed to Powerball at a later stage. Nowadays. a total of 44 states in America take part in the exciting draws. In the past, if a winner chose the annuity option to receive their winnings, their prize would be paid out over 20 years. Now it gets paid out over a period of 30 years.
Many changes have happened to the game over the years, which explains why the jackpots can get notoriously large and get even larger still! In January 2016, the US Powerball made jackpot history after three lucky tickets matched the lucky numbers for the 1.6 billion USD draw.
The Mega Millions lotto also started with a different name. Mega Millions was launched four years after Powerball in 1996. It was called “The Big Game” back then and only a few federal states were able to participate in draws at that time. In addition to that, the draw only took place once a week.
These days, nearly all states can participate in the draws and anyone in the world can also play if they get their lottery tickets online at PlayHugeLottos.com. Draws take place twice a week now too and in 2012, an astronomical 656 million USD was distributed to three lucky people.
Now let’s move on to some Canadian lotteries. Lotto Max has been making lottery winners since the year 2009. The first draw that ever took place was on the 25th of September in 2009. Lotto Max’s predecessor was “Lotto Super 7” and during the time it was still running, it created bigger jackpots than Lotto Max. The winning numbers for Lotto Max are still drawn once a week, and the highest ever jackpot was 55 million USD.
Another popular Canadian lottery is Lotto 6aus49. It was founded in 1982 with the first draw taking place on the 12th of June. At the time, it was Canada’s first nationwide lottery and the first ever lottery where players could choose their own numbers. You see before people could choose their own numbers, they were already pre-printed on the tickets.
Draws for this Canadian lottery now take place twice a week and the record jackpot was 64 million CAD in October 2015. Let’s take a look at how the lottery game rules differ between Canada and the USA. First, we’ll be taking a look at the US Powerball game rules.
If we take a looks at US Powerball, the winning numbers are drawn from two separate drums. Out of the first drum come 5 main numbers. From the second drum, the supplementary number, also known as the bonus ball, is drawn. These 6 numbers in total must be selected by players. They can choose 5 from a possible 69 balls, called the white numbers, and 1 bonus ball out of a possible 26, also known as the Powerball.
If a lottery player matches all six numbers correctly, they win the jackpot! Before the recent changes to the game were made, players chose 5 numbers from a possible 45 and 1 bonus number from a possible 45. The odds have improved to match the bonus ball but decreased when it comes to matching main numbers.
With this favourite American game, a player must choose five main numbers and 1 additional bonus ball. Each of these types of numbers is drawn from separate barrels. The five main numbers chosen are out of a total of 75 balls. The bonus ball can be selected out of a possible 15 balls. That means with 6 lucky numbers, you could win a Mega Millions jackpot if they match up!
Players need to match 7 lucky numbers in a draw in order to take home the jackpot prize. These 7 numbers must be chosen from the number 1 up through to the number 49. An additional number is also drawn during the day, but this is only applied to the 2nd and 6th winnings.
If we swing back to Lotto 6aus49 as a comparison, we see that 6 main numbers are drawn here. In order for a player to win the jackpot, only 6 of these numbers need to be matched correctly.
The biggest American jackpots
Let’s face it: we all enjoy playing the jackpot SO much more when the jackpots are incredibly large. So which lottery gives us the best chances of grabbing a jackpot? First, let’s take a look at US Powerball.
Many people already know that Powerball currently holds the record for the biggest lottery jackpot in the world. As we’ve mentioned earlier, a whopping 1.6 billion USD was won in 2016. The money was divided among three of the luckiest players in the world. Other huge Powerball jackpots were also 590 million in 2013 and 587 million in 2012. As it usually goes with US Powerball, massive jackpots are always guaranteed!
If we swing back to Mega Millions, we see that it is quite similar to Powerball because massive jackpots are also very possible. In December 2013, two winners walked away with their share of a 648 million USD jackpot! In 2016, another lucky player also won a huge sum to the value of 540 million USD.
The important fact about Lotto Max that you need to know, is that the jackpot cannot climb and climb like Powerball. It stops after it reaches its cap of 60 million USD. The record jackpot also stands at 60 million USD. This amount was reached a whopping 10 times!
If we go back to Lotto 6aus49, we see that in October 2015, the highest ever jackpot won was 64 million USD. All of this money went to a single ticket holder. They were very lucky indeed. In October 2005, a jackpot of 54 million USD was also won.
If we take a quick glance at what we’ve learned so far, we see that the biggest jackpots by far belong to US Powerball and Mega Millions, but that’s not to say that the other popular Canadian lotteries don’t produce big jackpots.
Odds of winning the American lotteries
The next important aspect of playing the lottery is how the odds of winning differ between these four games. If you’re someone who’s impatient and would like to play a game that has better odds of giving you a win, then you have to take each game’s winning odds into consideration.
If you want to win a big prize on the US Powerball, you will have to beat the odds of 1 in 292.201.338. These are the odds of matching 5 main lottery numbers. The odds of matching the bonus number are 1 in 24.87.
If we look at the odds of winning with Mega Millions, the odds of hitting the jackpot are 1 in 258.890.850. The odds of matching the bonus ball in a Mega Millions draw are 1 in 21.39. The odds of winning any prize in a Mega Millions draw, regardless of the tier, would be 1 in 14.70.
With the Canadian Lotto Max game, if you match 7 main numbers, you win the jackpot. The odds of this happening are 1 in 28,633,528. The chances of winning any other prize in the draw are 1 in 36.
When it comes to Lotto6aus49, you have a chance of 1 in 13,983,816 of hitting the jackpot. Your chances of winning any prize from any other prize tier are 1 in 60.
So, it looks like if you would like to have better chances of winning a lottery prize on any of these amazing games, your best chance would be to play the Canadian Lotto 6aus49. Although the jackpots aren’t as big as the US Powerball or Mega Millions jackpots, that doesn’t mean that you can’t win millions of dollars that could change your life forever!
At the end of the day, none of these games should be seen as inferior to another. They are all amazing lottery games that provide you with the opportunity to win millions of Dollars. It’s not like by playing one of these games puts you at a disadvantage. The jackpot sizes are the only distinguishing factor along with the odds of winning general prizes.
Play the Mega Millions and US Powerball jackpots today! You never know when your lucky day will arrive, so you better be prepared! You have all the biggest American lotteries right at your fingertips - don't let that kind of power go to waste!