Expected Value Calculator for Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49

Discover how you throw away nearly half of whatever disposable income you put towards playing the lottery. You may be surprised how much you lose on average when you dream of winning big!

*     *     *

If you found this gadget useful, please drop a comment below or support me via the “Donate” or “My Work” links in the menu above.

9 thoughts on “Expected Value Calculator for Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49”
  1. Something is not right here.

    settings: Lotto Max

    # of entrants 1 MM = 0.01 loss
    # of entrants 2MM = 0

    why would increasing the entrants ever increase the EV?

    1. Precision was low because the “split” column was rounded to the nearest whole unit.

      The calculator really is just to give a rough ballpark of the EV. It shows how it is always negative (and very negative) for the lottery given realistic inputs. It shows how big of an impact splitting the jackpot is in hurting the EV and how much obfuscation the OLG puts into their advertising.

      Also, to answer your question that you accidentally put in a different post, you asked “how can i found out the # of entrants from the last draw?”

      This information used to be posted on the OLG website, but their site has changed and I can no longer find that information. There is a general trend that the larger the prize pools are, the more entrants there are, and the “Guess For Me” button tried to approximate that trend. The fact that they don’t readily make this information findable goes with the “obfuscation” comment I made about the OLG and their sneaky advertising.

      I’ve now updated the calculator to have the latest prize payout structure (including the increase to 50 numbers in the Lotto Max selection pool), and improved the way to calculate estimated number of entrants. The biggest contributor to -EV are prize splits.

  2. Number of Entrants – Atlantic Lottery Corp publishes the Prize Payout table plus the odd of winning at a certain prize level. I just chose a relatively large number of winners at some level and multiply by the odds published to give me the rough estimate of the last entrants pool.


    Can you bring back the feature letting us put in the Estimated tickets, please? I just add a round up to my previous calculated. Might be under but good enough to show how much you’re likely to lose at best case.



    1. Hi Bob,

      I made radio button options so you can manually input the number of entrants as opposed to letting the calculator estimate that figure via the “old unwon jackpot”.


  3. Thanks for making the radio button for manual numbers in the entrants field.

    Slight problem with the layout of the Loto Max screen. The resultant sentence explaining what per cent is being lost is obscured. Only the first line is visibile fully. The disclaimer is lying over top the text wrap.

    On 6/49 the sentence is inside the table of results and works. Loto Max is outside the box. I think the additional prize lines have pushed the format around.


    1. Made the calculator a bit taller to accomodate the additional prize lines. It appeared to overflow on Firefox’s default styles.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  4. I am curious on why Free play prize varies with the number of entrants And jackpot size for 6/49?
    The value of 1 free play is $3 , wouldnt that be a constant in the prize column ? Thanks !

    1. Hi Ken,

      The free play forces you to spend that $3 on another 6/49 draw. Because you can’t take the $3 and run, you end up with a value that varies based on what you are likely to get back from that free ticket.

      The EV is estimated on the $3 being spent on the same draw, which is in practice impossible, but theoretically a good approximation.

      Hope that made sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *