Combined super-prize is Canada's largest ever
The largest lottery prize pool in Canadian history will be up for grabs in Friday night's Lotto Max draw.
The $95 million that could be won includes a jackpot of $50 million. In addition, there will be 45 separate MaxMillions draws for prizes of $1 million each.
A Lotto Max ticket gives the buyer a chance to win the jackpot or any of the MaxMillions prizes.
Because so many draws will be made, lottery officials say the winning numbers might not be posted until 5 a.m. ET Saturday.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. reports sales across the country are up almost 40 per cent from last week.
The odds of anyone winning the jackpot are said to be one in 28 million.
If no ticket wins the $50 million jackpot, that amount will be offered in the next draw on June 25, along with any MaxMillions prizes that are not won.
If the jackpot is won, but not all the $1 million prizes are claimed, they will be added to the next jackpot, which resets to $10 million.
If you're hoping to cash in on the big windfall, chances are slim.
"It's about 1 in 28 million. That's approximately the same as flipping a coin and landing on heads 25 times in a row," said Fred Hoppe, a mathematics and statistics professor at McMaster University.
For a stab at one of the $1 million prizes, statistics improve some, but not much. There's about a one in 622,468 chance you'll match all seven numbers needed.
Henry Kang knows the odds are stacked against him. But he bought a ticket anyway.
"I just can't help but get into the hype when there's a big jackpot like this," said the 23-year-old Ryerson student. "I know the odds are really bad."
What would Kang do with $50 million?
"I'd buy properties all over the world. I'd have my own personal chef."
According to Hoppe, what's surprising about Friday's jackpot is that no one has won it yet.
"When you have so many people buying tickets successively, somebody is bound to win. That's why I am surprised that nobody has drawn the major jackpot yet."
It has been sitting at $50 million for three weeks now. Perhaps Friday will be the night.
"Someone will win," he said. "It's just that the chances of it being you are negligible."
In April of this year, Alberta-based welder Cameron Blair took home more $41 million. And in November of 2009, Marie and Kirby Fontaine of Pine Falls Man., took home the same $50 million jackpot being drawn this week.
"Everybody dreams," said Phil Allison, an accountant who has been playing since he was 18.
"I know the odds, I know it all. But you can't win without a ticket."