nb-atlantic-lotto

Lotto 6/49 tickets now cost $3 instead of $2, but ALC says ticket buyers will also get more chances to win. (CBC)

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation's gamble that changes to Lotto 6/49 will win over players appears to be paying off in New Brunswick.

The cost to play increased by 50 per cent on Sunday — to $3, up from $2.

But customers like Lisa Richard in Dieppe don't seem to mind the added cost.

"At first I thought, 'Oh wow, another dollar,'" she said. "It started off at a dollar and now it was $2 and now it's $3?'"

But Richard, who was buying tickets for 16 people in her office lottery pool on Monday, says she's willing to pay more and take a chance on the changes.

"The $1 million guarantee, it might give us better chance of winning," she said.

In exchange for the higher ticket prices, ALC says players now have better odds of winning cash.

Starting this Wednesday, there will be a weekly $1 million guaranteed winner on every Lotto 6/49 draw, said ALC's senior public affairs counsel, Courtney Pringle-Carver.

The weekly base jackpots will also jump to $5 million from the previous $2 million, and players will have the opportunity to win a free ticket by matching just two out of six numbers, she said. 

"We conducted research all across the country and the majority of players indicated, for the value of the new prize structure, they're perfectly comfortable with the $1 price increase," said Pringle-Carver.

"In fact, it's been over 10 years since we've had a price increase with Lotto 6/49."

Florent Bertant says "it's about time."

"They're due for a change. I didn't agree very much with big, big jackpot and you only get a couple of winners on it. So there goes your chances."

Nearly 700,000 Atlantic Canadians play the lottery.

In the last five years, there have only been 19 wins greater than $1 million.

The guaranteed win is a big improvement, said Guy Arsenault.

"Instead of one person having $50 million, why not spread it out? And this is kind of a way to do it, I figure it's going to make 104 new millionaires a year," he said.

"Really, what's a dollar? You know you can't even get a coffee [for that] anymore," said Arsenault. "Everybody has a dream. For a dollar, you might as well take it and see what happens."

For those holding out for the big Lotto 649 jackpot win, however, the odds still remain one in nearly 14 million, officials say.