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Lotto hike

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

It's a good news, bad news scenario for the thousands of Canadians who play Lotto 6/49. The bad news is they will shovel out an extra dollar for tickets starting next June. But the good news, officials say, is that the change will boost jackpots and bolster the odds of winning. Western Canada Lotteries Corp. spokesman John Matheson told reporters that the higher jackpots are designed to capture more public interest and help increase sluggish sales. "The slippage in sales has been noticed right across the country," he told the Winnipeg Free Press. "We have a lot of groups who buy lottery tickets and they don't buy until it gets to the $10 million mark. "This will bring back a lot of players who stopped participating in the game." The new pricing will mean jackpots will start at about $4 million and the odds of winning a prize will rise from one in 54 to one in 32, Matheson told the newspaper. Currently, the average jackpot is $2 million. Sales of Lotto 6/49 tickets in the three Prairie provinces dropped to $209 million in 2002, down drastically from $300 million in 1993. Western Canada Lotteries Corp. does not sell or authorize the sale of tickets outside of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.