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BCLC expecting 20% increase in ticket sales for record Lotto 6/49 jackpot

Lotto 6/49 tickets are seen in this undated image. (BCLC/Twitter) Lotto 6/49 tickets are seen in this undated image. (BCLC/Twitter)

Someone in Canada will wake up $68 million richer on Thursday thanks to the first-ever maximum Lotto 6/49 gold ball jackpot.

The B.C. Lottery Corporation says it's expecting ticket sales to increase by approximately 20 per cent compared to the levels seen for other major jackpots – defined as those that reach $50 million or more – this year.

Unlike other lottery games, the gold ball draw has a guaranteed winner every time. Thirty balls – 29 white and one gold – are placed in the draw. If the gold ball is selected, one ticket sold for that day's lottery wins $10 million. If a white ball is selected, the winner is awarded $1 million, and the gold ball jackpot increases by $2 million for the next draw, which proceeds with 28 white balls and one gold.

Wednesday's Lotto 6/49 draw marks the first time that all 29 white balls have been drawn before the gold ball, meaning the next draw is guaranteed to feature a maximum gold ball jackpot of $68 million.

While the odds of winning the traditional $5 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot by matching all six numbers are one in nearly 14 million, the odds of winning the gold ball jackpot depend on the total number of tickets sold across the country.

CTV News asked BCLC how many tickets it has sold in B.C. for Wednesday's draw so far, but the corporation said it does not keep real-time statistics. Even if it did, exact sales figures likely would not be released "due to business interests," a spokesperson said.

"Historically speaking, we do see significant increases in lottery ticket sales when we see jackpots grow to $50 million or higher," the spokesperson said in an email.

"We know British Columbians enjoy playing for significant lottery jackpots, and tonight’s $68-million gold ball jackpot is no exception."

BCLC is celebrating the record jackpot with another round of its "Feeling Golden" promotion. Starting at noon Wednesday, the corporation began giving away 6,800 free $3 Lotto 6/49 tickets to players who wear visibly gold clothing or accessories at participating BCLC mall lottery kiosks.

"Everyday jewelry doesn't apply here," a news release announcing the promotion notes.

More information on the promotion is available on the BCLC website. Top Stories

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