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CA: State lottery board approves Calif. joining Mega Millions game
Bakersfield Californian ^ | 2/8/05 | AP - Sacramento

Posted on 02/08/2005 5:10:53 PM PST by NormsRevenge

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Hoping to pump up sales, California's lottery board voted Tuesday to join the multistate Mega Millions game, giving players a shot at long-odds jackpots in the $200 million to $300 million range.

The board voted 3-0 to pick Mega Millions, which is played in 11 other states, over the more popular Powerball, which is available in 27 states.

"We are excited to enter into this partnership and look forward to providing our players with what they have asked for - jackpots in the $200 million to $300 million range," said Chon Gutierrez, the lottery's interim director.

Cathy Johnston, a lottery spokeswoman, said the board felt Mega Millions would be a better fit for California, in part because its drawings are held on Tuesday and Friday nights and wouldn't conflict with the state's Lotto drawings on Wednesday and Saturday.

Both the multistate games are similar to Lotto, in which a player tries to match six winning numbers.

But the multistate games can provide much bigger jackpots. So far the biggest prize awarded by the California Lottery was $193 million in February 2002. Mega Millions awarded a $363 million jackpot in May 2002.

The odds of winning one of those Mega Millions jackpots are slim - one in 135 million - but lottery officials are betting the larger jackpots will attract more players and boost revenue by $500 million a year.

Mega Millions tickets will be sold at the same retail outlets as Lotto and will cost $1.

Most of that money will stay in California and will be available for prizes, lottery administration and schools, Johnston said.

She said it was uncertain when the Mega Millions game would be available to California players, saying lottery officials and Mega Millions operators needed to work out a "plan and timetable."

"There are several things that need to be ironed out," including payout schedules, Johnston said. "Several states have different rules (than California). We have to figure out which way we're going to go" and whether the state will keep its rules for everything or just some of them.

She said Gutierrez was confident the game would be in place by the end of the year. "That's probably a worst-case scenario."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's government reorganization team, the California Performance Review, recommended joining a multistate lottery, saying it would boost sales up to 78 percent, based on experiences in other states. Gutierrez helped draft that report.

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On the Net: www.calottery.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: approves; board; california; game; joiningmegamillions; lottery; state

1 posted on 02/08/2005 5:10:53 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Ooooohhhhh! This'll really bump up the jackpots!!


2 posted on 02/08/2005 5:17:40 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (How do you spell dynasty? P-A-T-R-I-O-T-S!)
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To: NormsRevenge

"The odds of winning one of those Mega Millions jackpots are slim - one in 135 million..."

That's all we need, one more way to pay the "Stupid Tax" and still hear from Sacto. that we don't have enough money for our schools. (I'm sure I'll be stupid when the pot reaches 300 mil!)


3 posted on 02/08/2005 5:50:24 PM PST by Big Okie (in California)
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To: NormsRevenge

Lotteries are a tax on the stupid.


4 posted on 02/08/2005 5:57:02 PM PST by ambrose (...)
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