Frequently Asked Questions

 

The Frequently Asked Questions section includes information about how lotteries work, strategies for play and the rules under which Mario's Lottery Groups operate. It is the responsibility of all group members to be aware of the rules and by joining one or more groups, a person has agreed to the rules.

Is group play for me?

Does the above example ever happen in real life?

How does one join a group?

How much does it cost to join a group?

When can one quit?

What is a regular group?

How does Group A1 work?

How does Group A2 work?

How does Group B1 work?

How does Group B2 work?

How does Group C1 work?

Why limit the number of shares in a regular group?

What if one wants to win more than the minimum amount, say $2 million?

Does a regular group still buy tickets when the number of shares in the group is very low?

When combining two regular groups for a single draw, how is the situation handled where a person is a member of both groups?

Do the regular groups only buy tickets for the Lotto 649 lottery?

What is a temporary group?

How much does it cost to join a temporary group?

How can I find out about new temporary groups?

How often are tickets purchased?

How are winnings distributed?

How can one increase the odds of winning the lottery?

What is the variable share option and how does it work

What are hot and cold numbers?

Can the use of hot and cold numbers help one predict lottery draws?

There are all kinds of advertised systems that use hot and cold numbers to predict the lottery. Are there any that work?

But what if hot and cold numbers could be used to predict the lottery?

Are there any means of predicting the lottery?

What is done to ensure the draws are random?

What is the best way to win the lottery?

How does one choose which lottery to play?

What is expected value?

How does the expected value of a lottery vary?

If the jackpot of a lottery doubles, can it be assumed then that the expected value also doubles?

So, is it correct to assume that one should only buy tickets when the expected value is relatively large?

Does it matter on what day of the week the draw is held?

What have been the largest expected values to date?

What is better, playing quick picks or picking your own numbers?

Which tickets are more likely to win, quick pick tickets or tickets with player selected numbers?

But I heard that quick pick tickets win more often. Therefore are not quick picks tickets better?

Why is it recommended to pick your own numbers?

How was it determined what numbers and number combinations are played more often?

How popular are some number combinations?

What is a jackpot deflator rule?

Why do lotteries use a jackpot deflator rule?

Is the jackpot deflator rule a good idea for the players?

What do lottery companies do to combat jackpot fatigue?

 


Is group play for me?
The following is an example that may help you decide. Say you just bought 5 Lotto 649 tickets for the next draw. The jackpot is $20 million. You meet a friend who tells you they have just bought 95 tickets for the same draw as part of a lottery group purchase. Your friend invites you to join the group by simply adding your 5 tickets to the group's 95 tickets. You cannot decide what to do, so your friend offers you the option to decide after the draw. You sign your 5 tickets and the group leader signs their 95 tickets and all 100 tickets are placed in an envelope. The envelope is given to an independent auditor to hold. After the draw is held, the auditor checks all the tickets and reports back to you and the group leader. There are two cases to consider. If the auditor reports that none of the 100 tickets won the jackpot, then your decision on whether or not to join the group is moot.

But, what if the auditor reports that one of the 100 tickets won the $20 million jackpot and now you are faced with the choice of whether or not to join the group. If you decide to join the group, then you are guaranteed to win $1 million (your 5 tickets represent a 5% share of the jackpot). If you decide to not join the group, then you have a 5% chance of winning $20 million or a 95% chance of winning nothing. In other words, by not joining the group, you are effectively making a $1 million wager on the hopes of winning $20 million. Most people, when faced with that option would join the group and take the $1 million. There are very few millionaires even, that would make that kind of wager. If you are the type of person that would take the guaranteed $1 million, then group play is for you.

Does the above example ever happen in real life?
Yes it has, several times. The Michigan Lottery sold a series of scratch tickets in 2005 and 2006 where the grand prize was a free trip to attend a live drawing for a chance at $2 million. The drawing was always held at a special event such as half time at a football game or a community carnival. For each special draw, there were only 5 finalists. Prior to the draw, the 5 finalists had an opportunity to meet "back stage". In many cases, the discussions revolved around the possibility of splitting the prize evenly among the 5 finalists.

Michigan Lottery held these draws between 10 and 20 times. Every variety of situation arose. In some cases, there was no decision to split and a single person won the $2 million. In many cases, all 5 contestants decided to split the money and each person "won" a guaranteed $400,000 even before the draw was held. There was one interesting situation where 4 persons had decided to split but the fifth person decided not to. The draw was held and the group of 4 persons won. The fifth person was like the fictional person in the above answer. He decided to wager $400,000 with the hope of winning $2 million. He was either very rich or very foolish.

How does one join a group?
Complete the online form on the Events Online website. The form will ask for name, address, payment, a declaration that you are at least 19 years of age and that you agree to all the rules and procedures as described on this FAQ web page.

How much does it cost to join a group?
The ongoing cost is $10 per share per month for a regular group. The initial cost is determined by dividing the current group balance by the current number of shares. The result is rounded up to the nearest dollar. For temporary groups, the cost varies and is announced when a new temporary group is formed.

When can one quit?
You can quit any group (regular or temporary) at any time. Simply send an email informing the organizer of your intentions to quit. Your payout from the group is calculated by dividing the current group balance by the current number of shares. The result is rounded down to the nearest dollar. If the group is holding free tickets, then the value of the free tickets is not used when calculating the group's balance.

What is a regular group?
A regular group is an ongoing group with monthly dues. Members can join or quit at any time. There are currently five regular groups - Group A1, Group A2, Group B1, Group B2 and Group C1.

How does Group A1 work?
Group A1 buys Lotto 649 tickets whenever the jackpot is $20 million or more. The group is limited to 40 shares. The strategy is for each share to win at least $0.5 million if the group wins the jackpot and the group holds the only winning ticket. The share limit is temporarily increased whenever the announced jackpot is larger than $20 million while still maintaining the $0.5 million win per share. On average, the group buys tickets about 12 times per year.

How does Group A2 work?
Group A2 is structured identically to Group A1. See above for details. Group A2 was created when Group A1 reached its share limit.

How does Group B1 work?
Group B1 buys Lotto 649 tickets whenever the jackpot is $20 million or more. The group is limited to 20 shares. The strategy is for each share to win at least $1 million if the group wins the jackpot and the group holds the only winning ticket. The share limit is temporarily increased whenever the announced jackpot is larger than $20 million while still maintaining the $1 million win per share. The current number of shares in the group is larger than the limit because the previous share limit was 23 shares. The number of shares in the group will be reduced to 20 through attrition. On average, the group buys tickets about 12 times per year.

How does Group B2 work?
Group B2 is structured identically to Group B1. See above for details. Group B2 was created when Group B1 reached its share limit.

How does Group C1 work?
Group C1 buys Lotto 649 tickets whenever the jackpot is $30 million or more. The group is limited to 30 shares. The strategy is for each share to win at least $1 million if the group wins the jackpot and the group holds the only winning ticket. The share limit is temporarily increased whenever the announced jackpot is larger than $30 million while still maintaining the $1 million win per share. On average, the group buys tickets about 4 times per year.

Why limit the number of shares in a regular group?
Each regular group has a maximum number of shares set in order to not dilute the amount won per share below a certain value. For Groups A1 and A2, the maximum number of shares is set so that each share wins a minimum of $0.5 million. For Groups B1, B2 and C1, the maximum number of shares is set so that each share wins a minimum of $1 million.

What if one wants to win more than the minimum amount, say $2 million?
To win more than the minimum amount, one needs to buy more than 1 share in a particular group. For example, buying 2 shares in Group C will result in winning at least $2 million if the group hits the jackpot and holds the only winning ticket.

Does a regular group still buy tickets when the number of shares in the group is very low?
Yes, even if the number of shares in a regular group is well below the maximum number of shares, the group will still buy tickets when the Lotto 649 jackpot is at least $20 million.

But what may happen in these instances, is regular groups may be combined for a single draw. The combining of regular groups will only occur, if the target jackpot win per share is still maintained. For example, if the number of shares in Group B1 and Group B2 is 10 shares each, then the groups may be combined for a single draw since at 20 shares for the combined group will still offer the possibility of each share winning $1 million each. Combining of groups is very advantageous for those members that only belong to one of the two groups being combined. The member's probability of winning greatly increases while still maintaining their minimum target share of the jackpot.

When combining two regular groups for a single draw, how is the situation handled where a person is a member of both groups?
By default, the person would become a member of the combined group but would have multiple shares. For example, if a person has a share in Group B1 and a share in Group B2 and the two groups are combined for a single draw, then the member has two shares in the combined group. Members have three options in these situations. 1) Allow the default rule to apply. 2) Request to have their number of shares reduced for that single draw, and 3) Ask, in advance, that whenever groups are combined that their shares are reduced to a predetermined number or value.

Do the regular groups only buy tickets for the Lotto 649 lottery?
Yes, for the vast majority of ticket purchases. If there is an opportunity though, to buy tickets for a lottery with an unusually high expected value, the organizer has the option to buy tickets for that particular lottery. In all cases though, the portion of the jackpot that each share could win must meet the minimum value set for the particular regular group. For example, Group B1 could buy tickets for another lottery as long as the jackpot for that lottery is at least X millions of dollars where X is the number of shares in Group B2.

What is a temporary group?
A temporary group is formed whenever the opportunity arises. This occurs under a few different circumstances. One, if the Lotto 649 jackpot is larger than $20 million and there are little or no funds in the regular groups to buy tickets. Two, the Super 7 jackpot is very large. Three, there is an opportunity to buy tickets in another lottery with an especially large jackpot.

How much does it cost to join a temporary group?
The cost to join is determined at the time the group is formed but is usually $1 per share. There is usually no limit on the number of shares a member can buy. The group continues until there is no money left in the group or all monies in the group is dispursed to the members of the group. Once a temporary group has bought tickets for at least one draw, new members are not usually allowed to join the group. Exceptions to this rule are made in those situtations where adding more shares to the group does not dilute the amount won per share that was established on the first draw for the group.

How can I find out about new temporary groups?
When a new temporary group is formed, all members of the regular groups are notified by email. If you are not a member of a regular group, you can ask to be placed on the temporary groups mailing list.

How often are tickets purchased?
The regular groups, Groups A1, A2, B1 and B2, buy tickets whenever the Lotto 649 jackpot is over $20 million. This happens on average about 12 times per year. Group C1 buys tickets whenever the Lotto 649 jackpot is $30 million or more. This happens on average about 4 times per year. The Lotto 649 jackpot usually reaches at least $20 million after 3 rolls or when there are bonus jackpots.

How are winnings distributed?
Small wins are kept in the group and used to buy more tickets. Medium size winnings are distributed to members. Usually this is done by crediting the account of the respective members. Subsequent monthly fees are drawn from the members' account balance. Winnngs can also be paid to members via bank transfer or mailing a cheque. The payment preference is up to the individual group member. Unlike some lottery groups advertised on the Internet, I do not withhold any percentage of winnings as a fee. Any fees though, encurred to transfer funds to a member are the responsibility of the member and are deducted from the amount being transferred. Also, any fees incurred to redeem a winning ticket are deducted from the balance of the group holding the winning ticket. Examples of redemption fees are the cost of a registered letter for redemptions between $1,000 and $50,000 or travel costs to the lottery office to redeem tickets over $50,000.

How can one increase the odds of winning the lottery?
There is only one way to increase one's odds of winning the lottery and that is by buying more tickets. The more tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning. By joining a group, you are effectively buying more tickets. For example, with $2 you can buy one Lotto 649 ticket and have one chance in 14 million of hitting the jackpot. By joining a group with say 28 members, your $2 can then allow you to have a share in 28 tickets. Now your odds of hitting the lottery are only 1 in 500,000.

What is the variable share option and how does it work?
The variable share option is a method of minimizing how much one spends on a temporary lottery group while still trying to win certain share of the jackpot. The following is an explanation of how it works. A member, upon joining a temporary group, would supply two numbers.
1) The maximum they are willing to spend.
2) How much of the jackpot they wish to win.
They would always be kept to the minimum dollar amount in the group to meet their win goal. If the total amount of money in the group increases, their share level would also be increased proportionately.

For example, say a new temporary group starts for a lottery with a $20 million jackpot and there is presently $95 in the group. Upon joining the new group, a member can propose to spend a maximum of $20 with the hope of winning a $1 million share of the jackpot. Therefore, they only need to spend $5 to get a $1 million share (5%) of the jackpot. As more money is added to the group, say a total of $290, then their share in the group is increased proportionately to $15 to maintain their $1 million share of the jackpot. Their cost, though, never exceeds the $20 self-imposed limit.

This option is especially useful for the first few members of a new group. They have no idea how many more people are going to join. They do not want to spend too little and get too small a share of the jackpot and at the same time, they do not want to spend too much in the case where only a few people join the new group.

What are hot and cold numbers?
Hot numbers are numbers that have been drawn more often than average. Cold numbers are numbers that have been drawn less often than average.

Can the use of hot and cold numbers help one predict lottery draws?
No. The numbers have no memory. Whether the numbers are drawn using a ball drop machine or a computer, they do not remember how many times they were drawn. In a completely random process, past drawings have absolutely no influence on future drawings. Lottery companies expend considerable time and expense ensuring the draws are completely random.

There are all kinds of advertised systems that use hot and cold numbers to predict the lottery. Are there any that work?
No, they do not help to predict the lottery draws. They only make money for the person selling the system. Besides, if the prediction system did work, why do they bother trying to sell them? Why don't they just use the systems themselves to make millions? Why? Because the supposedly sure-fire prediction systems do not work.

But what if hot and cold numbers could be used to predict the lottery?
Let us assume by some miracle of nature the balls could remember how many times they were drawn and they could store that information somehow in their little Indian rubber brains. And also assume the balls knew what the proper statistical average should be for each ball and could also store that information. And also assume that the balls, having that newly acquired information, cared that they were either hot or cold, that is, picked more or less than average. And also assume the balls had the means to act on that information. Say, little arms that pushed other balls out the way to somehow influence the next ball to drop. Then if all those wild assumptions were true, then one still could not use hot and cold balls to predict the lottery because the draws that the lottery corporations advertise are not the only draws that are held. Before each official draw, there are a number of test drawings used to test the equipment and make sure everything is OK. So a ball that has been reported as cold may have been drawn several times during the test draws and may in fact be a hot ball or simply an average ball. On top of all that, the lottery corporations use more than one set of balls. For example, Lotto 649 and Super 7 draws are conducted by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. They randomly select which set of balls to use before each draw.

Are there any means of predicting the lottery?
No. Absolutely not! Lottery draws are random.
Lottery corporations spend a lot of money making sure that all lottery draws are random. But lottery corporations do not mind the fact that there are many people who believe otherwise. A lot of money is spent on systems and eventually tickets on failed attempts to "beat" the lottery. When people are sure they have "beaten the system", they spend a lot of money on tickets, making even more profit for the lottery companies. The same thing happens in casinos. The casinos make millions of dollars on people who think they have devised the ultimate system of beating the odds.

What is done to ensure the draws are random?
The following are some of the procedures followed by Ontario Lottery and Gaming to ensure the draws are random. OLG conducts the national Lotto 649 and Super 7 draws. Other lottery companies follow similar procedures.

The balls used are made of solid Indian rubber. Each one is identical in every way. Even the number on the ball itself is not printed on but embedded in the rubber. The number is a part of the ball itself. Each ball has the identical weight, diameter, density and bounce. At least once every three months the lottery balls are taken to Quantum Inspection and Testing Limited, a Burlington, Ontario-based laboratory for testing

The balls are checked with a micrometer to determine that they are exactly 50 mm in diameter. They are measured for resiliency, that is, how well they bounce. This is done two ways. Using a resiliometer, a weight is dropped on a ball and how much it bounces is measured. The balls are video tapped as they are dropped. The video tape is reviewed in freeze frame to measure the exact height of each bounce. The balls are submerged in water and their volume is determined by how much water is displaced. Each ball is x-rayed to ensure that there are no impurities or cavities within the ball. Each ball is weighed using a digital scale. Each lottery ball must be within one gram of a mean weight. If not, the set is thrown out.

The lottery balls are manufactured by Ryo-Catteau from Wattrelos, France. Ryo-Catteau is the world's foremost manufacturer of lottery machines and balls. They insure that each ball is identical in every way. Lottery balls last on average of 3 years. A set of 49 lottery balls from Ryo-Catteau cost $13,000. That is almost $300 a ball.

What is the best way to win the lottery?
Buy lots of tickets. The more tickets you buy, the better your chances of winning. Of course, that can be very expensive. The best way of buying more tickets is by joining a group. It is a tradeoff. By joining a group you end up with a good chance of winning a share of the jackpot compared to a poor chance of winning the entire jackpot.

How does one choose which lottery to play?
First and foremost, only play lotteries with a relatively high expected value. Lotteries with fixed jackpots generally will have a fixed expected value. Lotteries with variable sized jackpots will have a variable expected value. In general, the larger the jackpot is, then the larger the expected value will be. So in general, play lotteries with variable sized jackpots and only play when the jackpots are large. Examples of lotteries with variable sized jackpots are Lotto 649 and Super 7. The jackpot sizes vary because whenever a jackpot is not won, the money allocated to the jackpot prize is rolled over to the jackpot of the next draw. This rule has resulted in record jackpots such as the $54 million Lotto 649 jackpot on October 26, 2005.

What is expected value?
Expected value is the theoretical value of any given wager or bet. It is calculated by multiplying the probabilities of all the outcomes times the prize awarded for each outcome. The resulting values are added up to arrive at the expected value. For example, if one was awarded $10 for correctly guessing a number from 1 to 10. Then the expected value of the wager is $1. The probability of correctly guessing is 10% times the prize of $10 gives a result of $1. A simplified way of calculating expected value is the amount of money paid out on any given lottery compared to the amount of money taken in. In these cases, expected value is often expressed as a percentage. That is the percentage of money awarded in prizes. Most lotteries have an average expected value of 50%. The expected value of a $1 wager is therefore $0.50

How does the expected value of a lottery vary?
There are two types of lotteries. One, those lotteries with a fixed prize structure and therefore a fixed expected value. Examples of those are Ontario 49, Western 649 and most scratch tickets. And two, those lotteries whose prize structure varies. Those lotteries have jackpots that grow when they are not won. Some examples are Lotto 649 and Super 7. Since the jackpot size varies, then so does the expected value.

If the jackpot of a lottery doubles, can it be assumed then that the expected value also doubles?
No, for two reasons. First, the jackpot contributes only a portion to the expected value of a given lottery. The smaller, secondary prizes also contribute, albeit not as much, to the expected value. And second, usually when a jackpot grows in size, then so does the sales for the given draw. As mentioned above, to calculate expected value, the probability of winning the jackpot is multiplied times the value of the jackpot. One must take into consideration the possibility of multiple winners. The greater the sales, the greater the possibility there will be multiple winners of the jackpot. For example, to calculate the expected value of a $24 million jackpot requires the following calculation. $24 million times the probability of a single winner, $12 million times the probability of two winners, $8 million times the probability of 3 winners, etc, until the number of winners is so large as to contribute almost nothing to the expected value. Fortunately, a formula has been created to make the series of calculations relatively simple.

So, is it correct to assume that one should only buy tickets when the expected value is relatively large?
Yes, that is correct. In general, lotteries with a fixed prize structure have an expected value of around 50% or expressed another way - a $1 wager has an expected value of around $0.50. Lotteries with a prize structure that varies have expected values that range anywhere from 25% to as much as 100%. Now, it may come as a surprise that a lottery can have an expected value as low as 25%. Lotteries such as Lotto 649 and Super 7 have very long odds for winning the jackpots. When their jackpots are at the starting values of $4 million for Lotto 649 and $2.5 million for Super 7 the resulting expected values are very low because these are relatively small jackpots given the odds of winning them. Remember that expected value is calculated by multiplying the value of the jackpot against the jackpot probability.

Does it matter on what day of the week the draw is held?.
Yes, in some cases. Ticket sales are higher for some days than other days. In the case of Super 7, the draws are always held on a Friday, so there is no comparison to be made. But in the case for Lotto 649, where draws are held on Saturday and Wednesday, it does make a difference. For the same size jackpot, sales are lower for a Wednesday draw than a Saturday draw. Lower sales results in a higher expected value. Also, a Wednesday draw on a week where the Monday was a holiday has even fewer sales than normal for the same size jackpot. Remember, there are two variables that effect the expected value - the size of the jackpot (larger is better) and tickets sales (lower is better).

What have been the largest expected values to date?
The following are largest expected values to date, as of February 2007.
For the Lotto 649, under the new $2 per ticket format, the largest expected value was 87% and occurred on the Saturday, August 4, 2004 draw. The jackpot was $29,140,524 and just under 21 million tickets were sold for the draw.

For Super 7, the largest expected value was 80% and occurred on the May 5, 2006 draw. The jackpot was $35 million and ticket sales were 25.6 million. In second place was an expected value of 75% which occurred on the August 27, 2004 draw. The jackpot was $26,879,379 and ticket sales were $20.3 million. These last two examples illustrate the normal pattern. As jackpots group, so do ticket sales, but not in the same proportion. The $35 million jackpot was 30% larger than the $26.9 million jackpot but sales only increased by 26%.

What is better, playing quick picks or picking your own numbers?
It is better to pick your own numbers rather than use quick picks, if and only if you know which numbers to avoid playing. If you do not know which numbers to avoid playing or you tend to pick number patterns when selecting numbers, then you are better off playing quick picks. Humans tend to pick number patterns when selecting lottery numbers even when trying to pick seemingly random numbers.

Which tickets are more likely to win, quick pick tickets or tickets with player selected numbers?
There is no difference in probabilities between quick pick tickets and tickets with player selected numbers. All number combinations have identical probability of winning. This is also why, as stated in an earlier answer, that there is no value in attempting to predict lottery numbers. All tickets have the same probability of winning. Lottery draws are random.

But I heard that quick pick tickets win more often. Therefore are not quick pick tickets better?
The reason quick pick tickets win more often is because most tickets are quick picks. Approximately 70% of all lottery tickets are quick picks and 70% of draws are won with quick picks. There is no difference in the probability of winning between quick pick tickets and tickets with player selected numbers.

Why is it recommended to pick your own numbers?
One should pick one's own numbers when playing the lottery because some numbers and number combinations should be avoided. They should be avoided because they are popular with many players. Playing popular numbers and number combinations causes prizes to be split. In the case of the jackpot, the difference can be between a single ticket winning a $20 million jackpot and 10 tickets splitting the same jackpot. When playing in a group, multiple jackpot winners is something to avoid. Mario's Lottery Groups avoids playing popular numbers and number combinations to maximize the probability of not having to share the jackpot prize with other winning tickets. This strategy also works with the lower tier pari-mutuel prizes. For example, the match 4 prize of Lotto 649 is an average of $70 but varies between $38 and $100 depending if the winning numbers were played by many people. The match 5 prize of Lotto 649 is an average of $2,000 but varies between $800 and $3,000. Whenever Mario's Lottery Group won a match 5 or match 4 prize in Lotto 649, the prize was larger than average because popular numbers and number combinations were not played.

How was it determined what numbers and number combinations are played more often?
By comparing the pari-mutuel prize payouts to the various winning numbers over the past 10 years worth of draws, it was determined what number combinations are played more often and which ones are played less often.

How popular are some number combinations?
On the October 26, 2005, draw of Lotto 649, the jackpot reached a record $54 million. Some of the more popular number combinations were each played approximately 12,000 times across Canada. Had you played one of those combinations and they turned out to be the winning numbers then you would have shared the jackpot with 11,999 other players. The jackpot prize would have been approximately $4,500.

What is a jackpot deflator rule?
A predetermined formula is used to calculate how much money from ticket sales is used to fund the jackpot. When a jackpot reaches a certain large level, some lottery companies decrease the amount of money used to fund the jackpot in order to decrease the growth of the jackpot. The decreased amount is used to fund the lower tier prizes. This rule is called the jackpot deflator rule. With the deflator rule, the same total amount of money is paid out in prizes, it is only distributed differently. Currently the Canadian Lotto 649 and the US Powerball lotteries use this type of rule.

Why do lotteries use a jackpot deflator rule?
One the biggest concerns for lottery companies is jackpot fatigue. Jackpot fatigue is when lottery players get so used to large jackpots that they no longer are considered exciting and big news. Jackpot fatigue causes sales to not increase as dramatically as in the past when large jackpots occur. Lottery companies depend upon large jackpots to increase sales, attract new players and generate millions of dollars of free advertising through stories in the press. This is where the deflator rule comes in. Lottery companies want big jackpots but not so big that they become difficult to repeat on a regular basis. So when a jackpot reaches a certain large size, the lottery company begins to limit the growth of the jackpot using the deflator rule.

Is the jackpot deflator rule a good idea for the players?
Yes, for two reasons. One, when more money is moved to lower tier prizes from the jackpot prize, the expected value increases. This is mainly due to the fact that the jackpot is not necessarily paid out on any given draw but the lower tier prizes are. And two, because the deflator rule is meant to prevent jackpot fatigue. Jackpot fatigue is bad for players because of what the lottery companies do to combat it.

What do lottery companies do to combat jackpot fatigue?
The lottery companies create larger and larger jackpots. If players are no longer excited about $30 million jackpots, then $40 and $50 million jackpots are generated. Larger jackpots are created in one of two ways. One, creating longer odds causing the jackpot to roll several times before being won. Two, increasing the price of the tickets. Both options are bad for players. In the case of the US Mega Millions, the jackpot odds were increased to an astronomical 176 million to one in order to create large jackpots. For the Canadian Lotto 649, the ticket prize was increased to $2 in June 2004.