A wager lock is applied when the limit on potential prizes, set at $1.5 million for a selection (from 3 to 4 numbers with the "exact order" and "any order" options) is reached. For each selection, the computer calculates the total of potential prizes to be paid out. Once a selection is made that crosses the $1.5 million threshold, the computer rejects the selection.
Consumers have to make sure they have all the numbers in the winning selection, and that they are contained in their own wager. You should know that La Quotidienne, with 3 or 4 numbers, does not offer the possibility of a decomposable number. To win La Quotidienne 3 or La Quotidienne 4, all your numbers must match the winning selection, in the exact order or in any order.
In effect, the $1.5 million limit is the risk that Loto-Québec is prepared to assume for each selection. Average sales of La Quotidienne are about $70,000 per day, meaning that Loto-Québec risks having to pay out 21 times the day’s receipts. All lotteries in North America that operate this type of game have set up a product profitability protection mechanism. Demand for some popular selections is so high that the risk threshold is sometimes reached.
The odds of winning La Quotidienne 4 with two pairs are in the order of 1 in 10,000 (with the exact order option), and 1 in 1,666.7 (any order option).
The wager locking situation in La Quotidienne is not new. It has existed since this lottery was launched in 1979. As stated on the back of the selection slip, La Quotidienne is governed by the By-law respecting forecast contests and numbers games, which has liability limits. Loto‑Québec can therefore, at any time and at its discretion, refuse to accept wagers and issue tickets bearing any selection it determines.