North American Lottery Statistics

Lotteries provide a wealth of data to those on the hunt for in-depth statistical analysis.
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  • Author:
    William Monroe
  • Published:

From the number of times a certain number comes up in the draws, to the average number of tickets sold by retailers, everywhere you look, the entire gaming industry has a plethora of statistics. So, occasionally, it's just fun to look at some of the statistics that the lottery, in all its glory, produces.

For instance, statistics show that the total amount of lottery sales in 2016 in Canada were over CAD$10 billion! In the United States, sales were over USD$70 billion.

Ontario was Canada's highest provincial sales earner with $3.79 billion in sales, and New York was the top sales earner at $9.69 billion for the United States.

As you can see, the lottery is not only an extremely popular pastime; it's also a huge money-maker for both its regulators and operators.

Since New York and Ontario have the three major border crossings for North America at Niagara Falls, Buffalo-Fort Erie, and Detroit-Windsor, there are many visitors who purchase the lottery tickets from the neighbouring country. However, there has yet to be any statistical breakdown of this particular fact.

Top Jackpots by Country

Ever wonder what the top lottery wins in history have been? Well, there are statistics for that as well. In the United States (and in USD), here are the five top lottery prizes that have been won:

  • $1.6 billion Powerball won on Jan. 13, 2016
  • $758.7 million Powerball won on August 23, 2017
  • $656 million Mega Millions won on March 30, 2012
  • $648 million Mega Millions won on Dec. 17, 2013
  • $590.5 million Powerball won on May 18, 2013

And here are the top five lottery-jackpot wins in Canadian history (in CAD):

  • $64 million LOTTO 6/49 won on Oct.17, 2015
  • $63.4 million LOTTO 6/49 won on Apr.13, 2013
  • $60 million LOTTO MAX won on Sept. 25, 2015
  • $55 million LOTTO MAX won on July 17, 2015
  • $54.3 million LOTTO 6/49 won on Oct. 26, 2005

With ten times the population in the United States versus Canada, it's no wonder that the jackpots are larger there.

Now, remember that these statistics only stand until the next bigger winner happens - and it could be you!

Did you know that there are only 44 US states that actually run state lotteries?

There are six states that do not have lotteries at all. They are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah.

So, don't ever try to buy a lottery ticket in Las Vegas. They will just laugh at you and point you towards a slot machine. Nevada and Mississippi have thriving gambling industries and don't need to run any state lotteries to bring in revenue.

Hawaii has no state lottery as it has a long-held belief that lotteries and gambling would damage its tourism industry.

Alaska is an oil-rich state and doesn't look at lotteries as a needed source of income.

Utah and Alabama are very religious states and find the thought of lotteries and gambling go against the citizens' religious beliefs.

Do you know how many places there are to buy your lottery ticket?

You can buy a lottery ticket at over 240,000 locations throughout North America. Most of these locations are located in retail outlets, convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, and mall kiosks.

So, it really doesn't matter where you are in the United States or Canada. You are usually not too far away from a place to buy your lottery ticket, whether it's a regular planned purchase or a sudden whim.

Keep in mind that when you purchase a lottery ticket you become part of the statistics. And, if you win, your value as a statistic becomes even more important to those who work in that same industry.

Want to browse some of's own lottery statistics? You can do so by visiting the Tools page now!

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