British Columbia Lottery Corporation

British Columbia Lottery Corporation

February 19, 2009 15:00 ET

British Columbia Lottery Corporation/Media Release; Canada's Largest Estimated Lottery Jackpot: $48 Million

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2009) - Lottery retailers across Canada are bracing themselves for what will likely be a rush of Lotto 6/49 ticket sales over the next 48 hours.

That's because this Saturday's Lotto 6/49 jackpot is estimated at a whopping $48 million, which smashes the previous record of $43 million as the highest ever advertised 6/49 jackpot in Canada!

During peak lottery sales, BCLC handles as many as 4,300 transactions per minute.

"We'll be doing everything we can to support our B.C. retailers with what will undoubtedly be a very busy couple of days leading up to this Saturday's draw," says BCLC's Vice-President of Lottery Gaming, Jim Lightbody.

The largest-ever lottery jackpot won in Canada was a $54.3 million Lotto 6/49 prize from the October 26, 2005 draw, exceeding the estimated jackpot of $40 million at the time. That prize was won by a group of 17 oil and gas workers in Alberta.

To date, the highest jackpot won by a B.C. 6/49 winner was $22 million.

Higher jackpots tend to increase participation by groups interested in sharing the large prize pool.

"We encourage anyone who might be interested in joining a group to purchase tickets to use a Group Purchase Form," added Lightbody. "Filling out one of these forms is the best way to avoid any potential for disagreements between winners, and we offer them free of charge at bclc.com."

Tickets for the Saturday jackpot can be purchased until 6:00 p.m. (PDT) on the day of the draw, but with nearly half of the game's sales traditionally occurring on draw day, players are encouraged to buy their tickets early.

Winning numbers and prize information - including whether the jackpot was won - will be available at bclc.com, or at your local lottery retailer.

Lotto 6/49 is the nationwide lottery game drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays after 6:00 p.m. (PDT). Players can purchase tickets at any lottery retailer or at BCLC's PlayNow.com web site.

BCLC is a provincial Crown Corporation that offers socially responsible gaming entertainment while generating income that benefits all British Columbians. Last year more than 6,850 community and charitable organizations received community gaming grants. BCLC is an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

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