Record $70 million Lotto Max jackpot up for grabs Friday
VANCOUVER -- For the first time since the maximum jackpot was raised to $70 million, the new top prize will be up for grabs in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.
"This is a landmark thing for Canada. It’s the largest jackpot ever awarded in Canada," said B.C. Lottery Corporation spokesperson Matt Lee.
Lotto Max was launched in 2009 with a maximum jackpot of $50 million, which was increased to $60 million in 2015.
The jackpot was hiked to its current cap in May 2019, and it's taken eight months for the top prize to go unclaimed long enough to hit $70 million.
"A lot of our players had gotten used to having $60 million and it was time to make that jump up to $70 million," said Lee.
He knows some players want Lotto Max to ditch the cap altogether and have one all-in prize draw like Powerball in the U.S., but he says Canada’s population makes those massive jackpots impossible to reach.
Lee said some players also prefer the current system, which allows for excess money to be doled out in smaller $1 million "Max Millions" draws.
While Lee doesn’t rule out another increase to the jackpot limit, he said the $70 million cap is "a nice number for us to play at."
Regardless of the jackpot size, the odds of winning Lotto Max remain the same, about one in 33 million. While it may seem impossible, an 84-year-old retired fisherman from Richmond did win a $60 million jackpot last August.
"Fingers crossed, maybe we get 2020 off to a really good start for somebody in British Columbia," said Lee.