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.

18 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.

      1. Thanks Chris! Do you have any info on how the prize is paid out? Also, is there a calculator for 50/50 draws?

          1. Sorry if I misunderstood your question, but the prize is paid out in a lump sum if you win it as far as I know. You can probably find more information on how prizes are paid on the back of the lottery ticket.

            If that wasn’t what you were asking could you please clarify? Thanks.


      1. I’ll take a look at it when I can. Might be a while though as I haven’t paid attention at all to 6/49 since I’ve last updated the calculator.

  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.

  5. I am not sure if it is caused by rules of 649 changed over time, but the model for 649 is incorrect. 6/6 wins 79.5% of jack pool instead of 100%, and the chance of getting that is at max 1 split. (If you try enter 100 million entries, I know it is unrealistic tho, but it becomes 7.2 splits)
    Also, there are rounding errors like sometimes the expected value (EV) be $0.00026 but it displays $0.0002

    1. If I’m not mistaken, the jackpots advertised by the OLG are for 6/6. The pool is calculated by dividing the estimated jackpot by 79.5%.

      e.g. if the advertised jackpot is $5,000,000, the actual estimated prize pool is approximately $6.3 million. The other prizes can then be calculated accordingly based on the percentage allotment from the prize pool.

      As for the rounding errors you stated, the values are simply truncated in the UI but the actual value stored in memory is still in floating point to the maximum number of decimal places allowed by your hardware.

      But as mentioned in a prior comment, the main goal of the calculator is to illustrate generally how bad of a deal the lottery is as opposed to a precise computation of odds. If it ends up showing a 55% house edge as opposed to a 54.50001% house edge because of rounding errors, that doesn’t take away from the main point being that it’s still > 50% house edge!

      Precision is also not important since the jackpot itself is estimated and generally rounded to the nearest million. So already we should be assuming the calculations are accurate to no more than one significant digit.


  6. Dont buy that shit, in no way you will ever win, lottery companies lying you, there is no such thing as lottery winners, its all staged by plan, all those who say win are lottery company puppets who does what lottery company tell them and they r paid actors. all peaople must stop buying tickets, dont this cancer full you.

Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: