Frequently Asked Questions
You have questions? We have answers!
How lottery works
BCLC has stringent physical and procedural security in place to ensure the integrity of all draws.
Draws may be conducted by any method established by BCLC. The most common is through computerized draw technology, such as an Automated Draw Machine (ADM).
More details are available in this brochure, How Are Lottery Numbers Drawn?, or email Consumer Services to receive a copy.
You can check your tickets at a Check a Ticket Terminal (CATT) available in retailers across B.C. or download the new Lotto! app, to scan your tickets on your phone (available for Android and Smart phones). All winning tickets must be validated at a Lotto! retailer and don’t forget to sign the back.
Lotto 6/49 and LOTTO MAX and DAILY GRAND draws are conducted by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation in Toronto. You can watch videos of the Lotto 6/49 and LOTTO MAX draws taking place on our Lotto! website. BC/49, Extra, Keno, Pacific Hold'Em Poker and BC 50/50 draws are conducted at our Kamloops office.
A ticket can only be cancelled on the same day it is issued and at the same retail outlet.
Tickets produced on draw day, before the draw, can only be cancelled before the draw break (the exception is Keno Advance Buy tickets, which may be cancelled after the first draw but before the second draw).
Sports Action tickets must be cancelled before the cut-off time of the earliest game chosen.
Pacific Hold'em Poker tickets cannot be cancelled.
Buying a ticket
BCLC is authorized to market and distribute lottery tickets within B.C. only.
If you are 19 years of age or older and are visiting our province, you may purchase our lottery products.
Signing the back of your ticket provides greater protection for both the player and retailer by confirming ticket ownership prior to validation or redemption. The ticket must be signed before it can be validated.
You are still able to purchase lottery products from BCLC retailers while in the Game Break program, excluding those at BC Casinos or community gaming centres. You will not be able to play lottery games on PlayNow.com.
Holders of winning lottery tickets, have up to one year from the draw date to claim their prize, unless otherwise announced by BCLC.
The one year time frame to claim a lottery prize does not include claims for prizes won on Instant tickets. Instant ticket prizes must be claimed prior to the expiry date as written on the ticket or as announced by BCLC. For more information on Instant ticket expiry dates please visit our Lotto website
We might be interested in hearing from winners after they’ve claimed their prize – for research or marketing purposes for example. As part of the prize claim process, we may ask a winner for consent for BCLC to contact them in the future.
Unclaimed lottery prizes are those prizes that are not successfully claimed prior to the lottery ticket's expiration (see "How much time do I have to claim a lottery prize?" question above). Unclaimed prizes from national games, e.g. LOTTO 6/49 and LOTTO MAX, are returned to players through future bonus games or promotions. These funds are held separately from British Columbia-only games and are administered by the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation.
Unclaimed prizes from games operated solely by BCLC are accounted for annually as part of BCLC's net income and provided to the provincial government to benefit the people of British Columbia.
Congrats! If you’ve won a major prize that you’re claiming at either our Kamloops or Vancouver office, during the process, our staff will verify your win and then we’ll take your photo and interview you about your win. Your winner story may be shared on BCLC.com, social media, and other news outlets. A short video about your win might also be produced and shared online.
Lottery winnings must be claimed from the lottery jurisdiction that sold the ticket. Please contact the lottery jurisdiction that the ticket was purchased from for further details, contact information appears on the back of the ticket.
In General, Canadian tax authorities do not treat lottery, casino, bingo and eGaming prizes as taxable income, as they are considered to be windfalls. However, tax implications may arise, for example, if a prize is paid as an annuity or taken out of province/country. BCLC recommends consulting a tax advisor about the specific tax implications of a particular prize to a prize winner.
BCLC publishes a winner’s information for up to two years, starting from the date when the winner is first declared publicly. After this period, BCLC will not publish new material containing a winner’s personal information without the winner’s consent.
It all comes down to transparency and integrity:
- we want to be transparent with the public and all lottery players;
- we want to promote the integrity of our games, promotions and contests by demonstrating BCLC pays out to the rightful winner; and
- we want to effectively market lottery products and fulfil BCLC’s mandate to the Province of British Columbia.
We consider requests for anonymity on a case by case basis, but the exceptions are rare.
BCLC’s role is to ensure that above all else, the integrity of the lottery system is upheld. In addition to conducting a thorough prize claim verification process, one of the most important ways in which we accomplish this is by publicizing winners.
BCLC will not publish the following information about a winner:
- address or other contact information
- personal information belonging to a third party
As part of the prize claim process, BCLC requires written consent from a winner to publish their personal information. If a prize claimant refuses such consent, a prize may be withheld in accordance with the Rules and Regulations Respecting Lotteries and Gaming.
The amount of information published varies. For example, we may publish more information about winners of larger prizes given there is greater public interest in large prize claims.
Here are the things we may publish about a winner:
- name (given, middle, and surname)
- city/town of current residence
- photograph (of true current appearance)
- prize details
- winner’s story
- marital status
- personal quote
- other personal information, as volunteered by winners during the prize claim process
Business and retailers
Lottery Retailer Prospects
Interested in becoming a lottery retailer or being a part of the Retail Stores Group program? Find more information here.
Suppliers — BC Bid and Non BC Bid
Procurement is the acquisition of goods and/or services for the direct use of corporations generally via a contract.
Procurement may involve a bid; if a bid has been solicited, please see doing business with us.
The Procurement department provides corporate services specific to procurement initiatives including bid competition management, sourcing, contract negotiation, and expediting and import/export customer management.
The Procurement Communications Protocol applies to all projects involving the procurement of goods or services.
We ask that you please contact Consumer Services at our toll free number 1-866-815-0222 or email us to report any complaint or concern that you may have.
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