If you see people lining up at their local gas station or store checkout this week, this might be the reason.
The largest Lotto 6/49 jackpot ever up for grabs will be won under a new format started a year ago that will offer a guaranteed prize of $68 million on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
"It’s going to be an exciting few days," Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. spokesperson Tony Bitonti said.
Under a format started in the fall of 2022, there are 29 white balls, each representing a $1 million prize, and one gold ball representing a growing jackpot as part of the draw. Each time a white ball is drawn, it is removed from the mix. Each time a gold ball is drawn, it is replaced.
For Saturday's draw, in which a white ball was drawn, there was just one white ball and one gold ball left, when the Gold Ball prize would have been a record $66 million.
"Only one ball remains for this Wednesday’s draw – the Gold Ball – meaning the jackpot is guaranteed to be won and will create a new multi-millionaire," the OLG enthused in a news release.
It has taken 15 weeks and 30 draws for the Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball jackpot to reach its $68-million top limit, the OLG said.
(A Gold Ball jackpot was won on the June 14, 2023 draw with a ticket sold in Niagara Falls. The jackpot for that draw was worth $42 million.)
The largest previous Lotto 6/49 win was $64 million from a ticket sold in New Brunswick in April 2023, according to OLG. A $64-million Lotto 6/49 jackpot was also won in 2015 by a Mississauga resident.
Canada's other big lottery is Lotto Max, which is capped at a $70M prize, which has been claimed more than a dozen times since the cap was put in place in 2019.
In addition to the Gold Ball Draw, Lotto 6/49 also pays out a $5-million Classic Jackpot.
Customers can buy their tickets at OLG.ca or at authorized OLG retailers until 10:30 p.m. for the draw that evening, according to the OLG news release.