Odds are, people who play the state's SuperLotto will also play Mega Millions, and those who don't will consider giving it a shot.
An unscientific survey Wednesday found that most people say they won't be able resist plunking down a buck or two to play Mega Millions, even if it's only one time.
Mega Millions is the new lotto game coming to California this year. The game offers jackpots that range from $200 million to $300 million, with tickets for only a buck. Mega Millions officials say a $400 million jackpot is possible once California joins the game.
"I might be tempted to play one time," said Cameron Quick, a student at California State University, Stanislaus. "I wouldn't become a regular player, though."
Quick isn't crazy about the chances of winning. The big payoffs come at long odds: about one in 135 million.
Charles Ovrasim of Turlock is a regular player of SuperLotto and other games who likes the idea of the big jackpots. "I want to win something like that," he said. "So far, my biggest win is $56."
California will be the 12th state offering the Mega Millions game, joining New York, Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Virginia and Washington.
Like SuperLotto, Mega Millions players have to match five numbers and a special Mega Ball to win the jackpot. The starting Mega Millions jackpot is $10 million -- compared with $7 million for SuperLotto -- though Mega Millions officials say that could increase when California joins.
Bill Purewal of Jack's Liquors in Modesto thinks it's about time the state added something like the Mega Millions game or the better-known Powerball.
"I get lots of people who come in from out of state asking about those games," he said. "They're used to the $200, $300, $500 million games."
The first big SuperLotto jackpot in Stanislaus County, $4 million, involved a ticket bought at Purewal's store in 1987. "People will play more games, which is a good idea because we will get more money for the schools," Purewal said.
Schools get 34 percent of ticket sales, according to the state Lottery Commission.
Jay Jensen also knows about winning lottery tickets. His 7-11 Store on Geer Road sold a $10 million winner in 2003, the last time anyone took home the big prize in Stanislaus County.
Mega Millions will bring in more players, he said.
"As jackpots rise, the sales rise. That's the way it's always been," Jensen said, recalling days when a line of ticket buyers would snake throughout his store. "They don't want the $7 million; they want to win the $80 million."
Jennifer Eakins of Turlock describes herself as a "casual" SuperLotto player, preferring the state's Hot Spot game. When she does play the lottery, it's because of big money.
"The higher the jackpot, that's the ticket," she said.
Chris Kostka of Turlock is blunt about the new game: "I don't like it. It will take away from the SuperLotto."
He plays SuperLotto regularly, but would be " just as happy with $7 million as with $300 million. I'm not looking for the greedy side of it. I just want to pay a few bills and buy a few things."
The most the envelope has been pushed in Stanislaus County was a $16.5 million winner in 1997. The ticket was sold at the Newman Food Store in Newman, where owner Paul Yoon thinks Mega Millions is a good idea.
"I think it will bring more customers into our store," he said. "Everybody is after money."