What are the odds? 2 winning Lotto Max tickets sold in B.C. in 1 week
A Lotto Max sign is seen in this file photo from 2014.
VANCOUVER - It was a lucky week in British Columbia.
Two winning Lotto Max tickets were sold in the province this week, one in the remote Stikine region on the North Coast on Tuesday, and another on Vancouver on Friday.
It's the first time winning tickets have been sold in B.C. for consecutive draws in the same week, according to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. Lotto Max draws began happening twice a week in May. Before that, they happened only once a week, on Fridays.
Tuesday's winner matched all seven numbers in the Lotto Max draw to win $20 million, and Friday's winner did the same to claim a $10 million prize.
As of Saturday, neither person had come forward to claim their winnings. Winners have 52 weeks from the draw date printed on their ticket to claim their prize.
The odds of winning the main Lotto Max jackpot are one in 33,294,800 per $5 play, while the odds of winning any prize are one in seven.
Those odds don't necessarily capture the likelihood of two jackpot winners in B.C. in one week, however.
Since the game shifted to twice-a-week draws, there have been 49 draws, and 10 have produced at least one winning ticket (one produced two winners, an extremely unlikely event).
Roughly speaking, 10 winners in 49 draws implies about a 20 per cent chance that any given Lotto Max draw will have a winner. This rough calculation suggests that the odds of two consecutive draws in which a winner occurs are slightly higher than 4 per cent, or about one in 25.
But this calculation only accounts for the possibility of a winner, not that the winner will be from B.C.
According to BCLC spokesperson Matt Lee, the historical win rate for British Columbians in Lotto Max has roughly corresponded to their proportion of Canada's total population.
In the 2016 census, B.C.'s population was 4.6 million, or roughly 13 per cent of all Canadians. If we assume this means that 13 per cent of all Lotto Max winners are from B.C., then the rough odds that any given draw will produce a winner from the province are slightly more than 2.5 per cent.
By this calculation, the odds of two consecutive winners from B.C. would be 0.07 per cent, or roughly 1 in 1,428.
It was a lucky week in British Columbia.