Lotto history

The first Lotto tickets went on sale on July 22nd, 1987, with the first Lotto draw ever taking place on August 1st, 1987.

Originally, Lotto was a weekly game with the draws being broadcast on TV2 every Saturday night at 8 pm. However, due to high popularity, ever since July 2015 the draws moved to TV One with an extra weekly draw added on Wednesdays at 8:20 pm. The draws are currently hosted by Sonia Grey and Jordan Vandermade.

During the live draw, six balls plus one bonus ball are randomly drawn from a barrel of 40 balls numbered 1 to 40. To win the First Division prize, players have to match their six numbers with the six numbers drawn. Up until May 26th 2018, the Ryo Catteau Stresa draw machine was used, but it was later replaced with a Smartplay Halogen II machine.

When playing Lotto, players also have the option to enter two add-on games for an additional fee - Strike and Powerball. Strike was introduced on April 3rd in 1993 and Powerball was introduced in February of 2001.

Originally, Lotto tickets cost $0.50 per line. In August 2004, the price increased to $0.60 per line and in April 2017 - to $0.70.

Though, these were not the only changes made to the game since it launched. In 2002, quite a few changes were made, some of which lasted, while others didn’t. In 2002, a second bonus ball was drawn as well as a guaranteed millionaire was drawn every week from the Division One winners. Sometimes, even more than one millionaire was drawn. The rest of the Division One winners would still receive prizes, though. If there were between 1 and 4 First Division winners left, they would receive $250,000 each. If there were between 5 and 9 winners left, they would receive $150,000 each. If there were between 10 and 19 left, they’d win $100,000 each. And if there were 20 or more winners left, they’d split $300,000. If there was only one First Division winner to begin with, he would automatically win the $1 million. If nobody won the Division One prize, a millionaire was chosen from the Second Division winners. Both these changes - the second bonus ball and a guaranteed millionaire every week - were withdrawn in 2004.

Additionally, in 2002 a new-look logo was created and a separate division for four numbers plus the bonus number was added. These changes have lasted ever since.

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