Hong Kong’s Mark Six Lotto teaches players how to win the lottery with its name by instructing players to choose 6 out of 49 numbers correctly to walk away with the jackpot. The lottery’s easy-to-play format and attractive winning odds make Mark Six a popular lottery in Hong Kong, where the population of 7 million people has been known to buy up to 24 million entries for some of the lottery’s draws.
Mark Six Lotto History
The Hong Kong Jockey Club founded the Mark Six Lottery in 1975. The Club was formed in 1884 and has a long tradition of donating to charitable causes. The Jockey Club operates as a non-profit organization and donates approximately HK $1 billion annually, making them one of the most important philanthropic contributors worldwide. Additionally, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is Hong Kong’s largest taxpayer, paying about 6.5% of all federal taxes.
The largest Mark Six Lotto jackpot, HK$133.5 million ($17.2 million), was split between three winners in May 2011. Undoubtedly this is an impressive sum. However, it is not comparable to the $656 Mega Millions lottery jackpot or $580 Powerball lottery jackpot.
Mark Six Lotto Rules
The Mark Six Lotto utilizes a traditional single drum lottery system and offers a bonus ball, called an extra number. To play, participants select 6 numbers from a guess range of 1 to 49. During the draw, seven numbers are randomly selected from the single transparent cylinder. The first six are called drawn numbers and the seventh bonus number is called the extra number.
The bonus number (extra number) is drawn from the same drum as the regular guess set and counts towards the second, fourth and six prize categories. Players can win the jackpot regardless of the bonus number by correctly guessing 6/49 numbers.
Four or five times a year, the Hong Kong Mark Six Lotto holds seasonal Snowball Draws. On these occasions, extra funds are added to the jackpot. Part of each Mark Six ticket price is allocated for the Snowball Pool and this money is added to the first prize on designated dates. Snowball draws are traditionally held during seasonal festivals, including Chinese New Year, Easter, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and Christmas.
Hong Kong Mark Six drawings are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 13:30 GMT. The six drawn balls and one extra ball are randomly selected from a plastic cylinder and broadcast on live television in Hong Kong. Mark Six invites notable citizens, justices of the peace, and beneficiaries of their lottery charity fund to supervise the televised drawing. Lottery draw results are updated and published on theLotter.com starting at 14:00 GMT.
Winning the Mark Six Lotto
Hong Kong Mark Six Lotto offers seven prize categories, ranging from matching 3 drawn numbers up to the top spot, which require players to match all six drawn numbers. By matching the bonus ball plus 4 or 5 out of 6 drawn numbers, players can enjoy impressive secondary prizes.
While the Mark Six’s jackpot starts at HK$8 million, the Mark Six boasts a generous rollover policy, which carries any unclaimed first or second prizes over to the next drawing. With three weekly draws, the jackpot rises quickly, which allows the top prize to rise into the hundreds of millions. To date, the longest rollover continued for 8 weeks, 24 draws and ended with the prize of HK$133.5 being claimed in May 2011.
In the case that there are multiple jackpot winners, the first prize will be divided equally amongst the recipients. All jackpot prizes are distributed in cash.
In late May 2011, three players split the record high HK$133.5 million jackpot, each taking home HK $44.5 million. The jackpot rolled over for 8 weeks straight in Spring 2011, leading to the record-breaking cash prize. In January 2012, one lucky player claimed the largest jackpot won by a single participant, walking away with the HK$86 million jackpot.
Mark Six Lotto Statistics
The Hong Kong Jockey Club only takes a fraction of the lottery proceeds, allocating the rest for prize money and charity. Fifty four of lottery sales money goes directly into the prize pool, of which 9% is allocated to the Snowball Fund. The funds generated by the lottery benefit both the government and local charities. 15% of all proceeds go straight to the Lotteries Fund, which is distributed amongst social welfare capital projects in Hong Kong. 25% of all funds are used to pay the lottery duty to the government and the Hong Kong Jockey Club keeps 6% as commission.
The lottery’s most frequently drawn numbers are currently: 4,12,20,46, and 49.
The lottery’s most least frequent numbers are currently: 1,14,23,27, and 32.
Mark Six Anecdotes
Lucky Patriotism- The people of Hong Kong love the Mark Six so much that it is often said that one who does not enter the lottery is not a true citizen. Unlike other Asian lottery draws, Hong Kong broadcasts the drawing live on public television which creates national interest and making it a favorite in the region. When the jackpot rises to staggering heights after weeks of rollovers, such as in Spring 2011, long lines form at lottery offices, oftentimes wrapping around the block. Many superstitious Hong Kong residents travel to the other side of the city to purchase their tickets from an office where a previous winning ticket was bought.