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Frequently Asked Questions
Where do lottery proceeds go? Who plays lottery games in Ontario? How do I claim winnings?
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  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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On-line Terminal Games

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Here are some of our more popular questions. Click on your area of interest. If your questions have not been answered here, please visit our Contact Us section. We'll be happy to address any questions, comments or concerns.



Who plays lottery games in Ontario?
Lottery players reflect the general adult population of Ontario. Players have the same level of education and income as the general population, and no one group plays significantly more than any other does. Approximately 88% of the adult population (18+) play or have played lottery games. For more information on the demographics of lottery players, please see our Fact Sheet.

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Where can I purchase lottery products in Ontario?

Lottery products can be purchased from any of the more than 10,000 OLGC retailers across the province. More than 8,300 retail locations are equipped with lottery terminals for on-line games such as LOTTO 6/49. INSTANT games can be purchased at all retail locations.

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Can I buy OLGC lottery products over the Internet?

No, OLGC lottery products cannot be purchased over the Internet. You can purchase OLGC lottery products from any of the approximate 10,000 retailers in Ontario.

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How old do you have to be to purchase lottery tickets in Ontario?

You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase lottery tickets in Ontario. Under legislation passed in 1997, it is a provincial offense, punishable by significant fines, to sell OLGC tickets to anyone under the age of 18.

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Where are the draws held?

The draws are held in a studio in Toronto under tight security measures. Each draw is videotaped, witnessed and officially recorded by independent adjudicators.

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How much money is won in a year?

During fiscal 2002/2003, prizes were approximately 50% of sales as the OLGC made available $1.1 billion in cash winnings on $2.2 billion in lottery sales.

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Where do lottery proceeds go?

All proceeds are paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the Province of Ontario. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) Act directs proceeds from lotteries, charity casinos and slots at racetracks to: provincial hospitals, sport, recreational and cultural activities, and to charitable organizations and non-profit corporations through the Ontario Trillium Foundation. For more information on the economic benefits of lotteries and other OLGC gaming activities, please visit the Economic Benefits section of our corporate web site.

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To what Ministry does the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation report?

The provincial government appoints a Board of Directors responsible for the operation of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC). Through its Board of Directors, the OLGC reports to the Government of Ontario's Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal (PIR).
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How can my organization apply for lottery funds?

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is completely funded with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation proceeds. Any organization interested in applying for lottery funds should contact The Ontario Trillium Foundation at 1-800-263-2887 for more information.

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How can I become an OLGC retailer?

The owner of an established business can apply to become an authorized OLGC retailer by:
  • Calling the OLGC Customer Excellence Centre at 1-800-387-0098, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., any day of the week.
  • Faxing a request to 705-946-6788.
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Who can I contact if I am concerned about my own or someone else's gambling?
Contact the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-888-230-3505. This is a confidential, anonymous, free service open 24 hours or visit the site of The Responsible Gambling Council (Ontario), at www.responsiblegambling.org.

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When can I validate my lottery tickets to check if I'm a winner?

  • You can validate all OLGC INSTANT tickets at participating retail outlets during on-line gaming operating hours, from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight (Eastern Time).
  • You can validate all OLGC terminal on-line tickets at participating retail outlets during the following times.
  • Lottery terminals are in operation daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. midnight (Eastern Time).


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How do I claim a prize?

  • All On-Line tickets expire 12 months after the draw date on the ticket. For INSTANT tickets, check the expiry date on the ticket back.
  • For your added protection, complete the ticket back and keep a photocopy of the ticket front. The OLGC recommends you sign your name on the back of the ticket at the time of purchase. If you have any questions regarding winning tickets, please call the OLGC Customer Excellence Centre at 1-800-387-0098.

UP TO $990

  • On-Line game winnings with a value up to and including $300 and INSTANT game winnings with a value up to and including $200 can be redeemed by an OLGC lottery retailer.
  • Tickets with winnings up to $990 can be redeemed at some lottery retail outlets and participating OLGC casinos and slots-at-racetracks.

$991 TO $250,000

$250,000+

  • Winnings with a value of more than $250,000 must be collected in person at the OLGC Prize Office in Toronto. Our prize office is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and closed on statutory holidays. Call the OLGC Customer Excellence Centre at 1-800-387-0098 for further information.
  • You may collect any winnings in person at the OLGC Toronto Prize Office.



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Should I sign the back of my ticket before claiming my prize at a lottery retailer?

Players should write their name and address on the back of the ticket when it's purchased to ensure they have a record should a winning ticket be lost or stolen. It can also be helpful to keep a photocopy of the ticket whether claiming a prize in person or through the mail.

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How long are my lottery tickets valid for?

  • On-line terminal games are valid one year from the date of the draw.
  • Sports Games are valid one year from the end of the Games list week from which the ticket was issued. Instant Games are valid one year from the announced end date of the game.
  • BIG LINK BINGO (formerly SuperStar Bingo) is valid for the date of purchase at the selling hall, as it is a daily live game.
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How do I claim winnings if I am a resident of the United States?

The OLGC's lottery games are designed to be enjoyed by adult residents of Ontario. Occasionally, residents from other jurisdictions play and win OLGC's lottery games, and the OLGC treats everyone fairly. The same winnings claiming procedures described above apply, subject to any U.S. postal regulations. The OLGC cannot mail cheques into the U.S. In cases where U.S. winners are required to receive a cheque for their winnings, they must pick up their cheque in person at the OLGC Prize Office in Toronto. More information about claiming prizes is available by calling the OLGC Customer Excellence Centre at 1-800-387-0098.

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What tax implications are there for lottery winners?
Generally, Canadian tax authorities do not consider lottery winnings to be taxable for Canadian tax purposes. However, U.S. residents playing OLGC lotteries should note that the Internal Revenue Service does consider such winnings to be subject to U.S. tax. While the OLGC will not withhold the U.S. tax against Canadian winnings, U.S. residents must report such profits on their individual tax returns. For more information, U.S. residents should contact their local IRS office.

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Must all winners have their names published?
The publishing of winners is important to demonstrate the integrity of our games. The OLGC reserves the right to publish the name, address and photograph of any winner. This is necessary for us to demonstrate that people do win. Winner information is released to the news media and may be used in the OLGC's advertising. For every winner there are a number of other players who did not win but have a legitimate desire to know that someone won.

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How can I find the odds of winning on your games?
To find the various odds of winning each on-line terminal game visit the How to Play section of this Web site and choose a specific game. Odds of winning are also published in OLGC's Fact Sheets. You can request a copy of our Fact Sheets and receive the odds for Instant Games by calling our Customer Excellence Centre at 1-800-387-0098.

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What is a repurchase?
Repurchase is a way to play the same selections for the next draw without having to complete a selection slip. Merely present your ticket to a retailer after the last draw date and tell the retailer that you wish to purchase the same selections for the next draw. The retailer will then generate a ticket with those selections for the next draw and return the original ticket (non-winning ticket or ticket that has not yet been redeemed) together with the new ticket to you. A repurchase play ticket costs the same as a QUICK PICK or selection slip play ticket. Repurchase play does not apply to ENCORE.

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When do terminals re-open after a draw?
On draw night, the OLGC has to close sales to conduct the draw. Approximately ten minutes after draw close, OLGC will re-open sales for the following draw.

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Can I play the same selections on LOTTO 6/49 and ONTARIO 49?
Yes. On a selection slip play, mark the box that says "Both ", and for QUICK PICK play, tell your retailer that you want the same selections for both LOTTO 6/49 and ONTARIO 49.

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