Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) operates lotteries for its member governments, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, while the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut participate as associate members.
Out of every dollar spent playing the lotteries, 52% is given back to players in the form of prizes, while 33.3% is distributed amongst the participating governments and territories. This money flows back into the community to help fund aboriginal relations, education, cultural events, health programs, environment, tourism, parks and recreation, and more. Each WCLC member makes its own decisions on how to spend its allocation of the money.
All tickets must be signed before any prize is paid, and signing as soon as possible after purchase is a good idea as if unsigned anyone in possession of a winning ticket may file a claim. At the very least you should write your name and address on the ticket, as all players who claim a prize through a Prize Payout Office must present identification. Players should also know that winning tickets, once validated, must be returned to the player by the retailer.
Prizes up to $200 can either be paid by ticket retailers, or have arrangements made to do so. Retailers may also pay prizes up to $1,000, though this is entirely at their discretion, you may need to go to a Prize Payout Office, located in Calgary (up to $9,999.99) or St. Albert, Alberta; Regina or Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, Manitoba. For prizes over $10,000 an appointment needs to be made at one of the Prize Payout Offices. Each retailer has a self-service Ticket Checker, where you can just scan your ticket, and see on-screen, or hear a beep, indicating if your ticket is a winner, and what the prize might be. Under the WCLC Rules and Regulations, there is no obligation to pay a prize unless the winner gives WCLC the right to publish the winner's name, city or town of residence and/or recent photograph. The reason? The WCLC feels it promotes the integrity of the lotteries.
If you've purchased a ticket while only visiting the area, and have won, you'll need to mail your winning ticket, with name, address and a daytime phone number written on the back, to the Prize Payout Office in Winnipeg. If the prize is over $10,000 it is a WCLC requirement that there be a winner's photo and interview.