It’s a huge disappointment – and it’s also a huge opportunity.

Despite massive ticket sales and long lines to enter, nobody won the Lotto 6/49 jackpot on Wednesday. The prize attracted huge interest in the game of chance, offering up a $39 million jackpot, the seventh largest in history.

But that’s chump change compared to what’s next. Because the big bounty went unclaimed, Saturday’s draw will be worth at least $48 million – making it the second biggest prize ever offered in 6/49.

The highest lottery win in history was $54 million won on a single ticket out west in October 2005. Up until now, the second biggest jackpot totaled $45 million. Two winners – one in Quebec, the other in Ontario – split that massive amount.

The new second place prize is expected to start the same frenzy across the country all over again in advance of the weekend draw.

We told you on Wednesday about the most common numbers that seem to turn up over and over again in the 6/49 random picks. And sure enough, the top digit was there for the 384th time. It’s 34, one of the six winning numbers that didn’t prove to be a total winner for anyone.

You can still claim some of the lesser prizes if you bought a ticket. The unofficial winning numbers for Wednesday’s draw were:

11, 17, 34, 37, 41 and 49. The Bonus was 5.

Find the most frequent winning numbers for all lotteries here.


All Time Lotto 6/49 Jackpots

1) Oct. 26, 2005: $54,294,712, 1 winning ticket, Western Canada
 
2) Aug. 6, 2008: $45,145,712, 2 winning tickets, Ontario and Quebec
 
3) Jan. 29, 2009: $44,451,939, 3 winning tickets in Ontario and the most recent big win. One ducat was sold in St. Catharines, the other two in the GTA. 

4) Aug. 12, 2006:  $43,222,344, 4 winning tickets, 3 in Ontario, one in Quebec

5) Nov. 1, 2008: $40,441,465, 1 winning ticket in Ontario. 

6) June 13, 2007: $40,000,000, 2 winning tickets, both in Ontario

7) Nov. 8, 2006: $39,667,128, 4 winning tickets, 2 in Quebec, 1 in Ontario and 1 in Atlantic Canada.

8) April 4, 2007: $38,787,042, 2 winning tickets, both in Ontario.

9) Jan. 2, 2008: $37,344,184, one winning ticket in Ontario.

10) Oct. 1, 2008: $35,363,724, one winning ticket in Ontario.

From June 12, 1982 to January 29, 2008.

Source: OLG


The Biggest Jackpots In The World
(All sums quoted are in Cdn. funds)

You could win the big jackpot and still not be as rich as these people. The all time biggest single jackpot winner in world lottery history is a housewife from Limerick, Ireland named Dolores McNamara. In Oct, 2005, she held a winning ticket in what turned out to be an incredible nine-week rollover jackpot in the EuroMillions Lottery. Her take after deductions: an astounding $182 million.

Geraldine Williams was an unknown from Lowell, Massachusetts until she walked off with a Mega Millions lump sump prize of $147 million after taxes.

A year ago, on February 22,  Robert and Tayne Harris, a couple from Georgia, muddled through the taxes and withholdings to emerge with $144 million in the Mega Millions Lottery in the U.S. 

Next on the list is West Virginia’s Andrew J. Whittaker Jr., whose Powerball ticket was worth $314.9 million. He opted for a lump sum payment and after the tax man extracted his share, he left with a still tidy $143 million.

Harold and Helen Lerner, a New Jersey couple, won the same lottery in September 2005,  and also banked $117 million for their trouble.

But the biggest lottery in the world is one that’s never won by just a single person. It’s Spain’s celebrated El Gordo, which in 2003 was worth an eye popping $2.2 billion. The first prize alone was worth $470 million.

But because of the way the lottery works, the jackpots are always split between multiple winners, diminishing the overall single jackpot payouts.