Skip to main content

How the $68 million Gold Draw jackpot got up to its maximum

A winning lottery ticket always comes with some sort of prize, but this month it was revealed that not only had the Lotto 6/49 jackpot reached $68 million for the first time in history, but that it was guaranteed to go to the next winning ticket.

And the winner is out there: it was revealed Thursday that the Lotto 6/49 Gold Ball Draw winning ticket was sold in Toronto.

“Now we wait for the winner or winners to come forward,” Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation spokesperson Tony Bitonti said Thursday.

How did the prize rack up, and why is it guaranteed this time? Here’s how it works.


A Lotto 6/49 ticket includes entry into two potential prizes: the Classic Jackpot and the Gold Ball Draw. The Classic Jackpot depends on numbers that you pick yourself, with the jackpot – fixed at $5 million – going to anyone whose string of numbers matches those revealed to be the winning numbers.

But on the same ticket, there will be a 10-digit Gold Ball Draw number in addition to the numbers that you pick for the Classic Jackpot.

If the Gold Ball Draw number on your ticket comes up as a Gold Ball Draw winner, then a separate Gold Ball Jackpot Draw will establish what prize you’ve won.

The fact that one ticket provides entry into two potential jackpots also means that people who play the same numbers every time would still have a chance at the Gold Ball Draw since that draw comes down to a string of numbers that come with your ticket.

The Gold Ball Jackpot Draw is decided by a draw from a container filled with 30 balls – 29 white balls and the gold jackpot ball. If a white ball is drawn, then the winner receives $1 million, and the value of the jackpot grows by $2 million for the next draw, which goes on with 28 white balls and the one gold ball. This continues until the gold ball is drawn.

If the gold ball is selected, the winner will receive whatever the current value of the jackpot is. It starts at $10 million, but if white balls keep getting selected instead of it, the jackpot grows and grows.

What makes this latest jackpot so rare is that it’s the first time that all 29 white balls were selected first, leaving only the gold ball remaining. Since it’s the only ball left, the most recent winner is guaranteed to receive the jackpot, which is at its maximum.

That is, if they come forward to claim it.

In August, a $70 million Lotto Max ticket was declared officially unclaimed after a year passed without the rightful ticket holder coming forward to claim it. Almost 2,700 people tried to claim the prize, but OLG said the rightful owner was not among them.


Stay Connected