Lotto Max History

Lotto Max is a Canadian lottery with a rich history. Since its launch in 2009, it has frequently played host to the largest prizes in Canada; jackpots regularly reach eight figures, and with the additional MaxMillions game, even more players get the chance to become a Lotto Max millionaire. Read on to learn more about Lotto Max, from its introduction to the present day.

The Launch

Lotto Max was launched on Friday, September 25 2009, as a replacement for Lotto Super 7. With a bigger minimum jackpot on offer - $10 million, as opposed to Lotto Super 7’s $2.5 million – Lotto Max was an overnight success, generating more revenue in its first 10 months than its predecessor did in its biggest sales year.

Nine Figures

In the draw of July 6 2012, the total value of jackpot prizes on offer hit the $100 million mark for the first time in the game’s history. Lotto Max’s jackpot cap of $50 million was reached, and an additional 50 MaxMillions prizes of $1 million were on offer. The July 6 draw saw a single ticket holder from Quebec win the entire Lotto Max jackpot, though only 17 of the MaxMillions prizes were won. The remainder of the MaxMillions prizes – which totalled $33 million - were added to the following week’s jackpot.

Jackpot Cap Increase

On July 17 2015, the Lotto Max jackpot cap was increased from $50 million to $60 million; that very draw, a group of 20 Rona employees from Quebec won a $55 million jackpot from a single ticket.

The first draw to reach the $60 million jackpot cap took place on September 25 2015. The jackpot was won on one ticket sold in Brampton, Ontario, becoming the second-largest lottery jackpot won by a single ticket in Canada.

Breaking Records

On August 12 2016, a record-breaking total jackpot value of $102 million was reached; the Lotto Max jackpot hit its $60 million cap, with 42 MaxMillions prizes also offered. The feat was repeated on January 6 2017 and then eventually surpassed on June 8, when 50 MaxMillions prizes were offered alongside the maximum jackpot.

The current record for the biggest Lotto Max prize pool ever offered was set on October 26 2018, when 55 MaxMillions prizes were played for on top of the $60 million jackpot cap. The main jackpot was won by a ticket holder in Edmonton, but just 27 of the MaxMillions prizes were won - meaning the remaining MaxMillions prizes rolled over into the next Lotto Max jackpot. The starting jackpot for that following draw was $42 million.

Changes to Lotto Max

Significant changes were made to Lotto Max on May 14 2019. The jackpot cap was increased to $70 million, an additional Lotto Max draw was announced for every Tuesday, and the ball pool was increased from 49 to 50. Two more prize tiers were also created, giving players nine possible prizes to win from playing the main game. For more information on the 2019 changes, visit the Lotto Max Changes page.

Biggest Ever Jackpot Won

The maximum jackpot of $70 million has been won several times since it was introduced in May 2019:

  • January 7 2020: Adlin Lewis, a credit risk manager from Brampton, Ontario, broke the record for the biggest ever Lotto Max jackpot when he claimed the first ever $70 million prize. The jackpot had carried over since November 29 2019 and it reached the new $70 million jackpot cap for the first time ever on January 3. It took just one more draw for it to be won.
  • February 25 2020: The second $70 million jackpot of 2020 was won just six weeks after the first. It went to Gregory Matthieu, a 22-year-old grocery store worker from Quebec.
  • April 14 2020: Adrian Olmstead took five months to come forward and claim his $70 million jackpot. The winner said he took the time to ensure that he had all the best advice on how to manage his newfound fortune.
  • July 31 2020: Two former work colleagues from Ontario jointly claimed the fourth $70 million jackpot of 2020. Donna Williamson and David Overall used to play as part of a syndicate when they worked together, and they continued to buy tickets together ever since.
  • October 9 2020: The jackpot powered up to $70 million again in time for Thanksgiving weekend, when a lucky ticket holder from Quebec matched all seven numbers to win the full amount. The big draw also offered 19 MaxMillions prizes.

2020 MaxMillions Changes

The way in which MaxMillions prizes are funded was changed on October 23 2020. Under the revamped rules, the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC) now determines two things ahead of each draw once the Lotto Max jackpot reaches $50 million:

  • The maximum prize fund available for the jackpot
  • The minimum number of MaxMillions prizes on offer

MaxMillions prizes are funded partly by using any money that’s in the jackpot prize fund in excess of the pre-determined cap, plus any further funding directly from the ILC. This can also affect how much of the jackpot rolls over to the next draw if it’s not won.

If, for example, there is a $50 million jackpot on offer but no one wins it, and there are two MaxMillions winners, $2 million is taken from the jackpot prize fund to pay the MaxMillions winners and $48 million carries over to the next draw. If in that same example the $50 million jackpot is won, the ILC funds the payout of the MaxMillions winners and no money carries forward to the following draw.

The first draw after the new rules came into effect took place on October 27 2020.