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Californians snap up tickets for new Mega Millions lottery game

Jun 23, 2005, 12:29 am

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: Californians snap up tickets for new Mega Millions lottery game

Californians dished out their first dollars Wednesday on a multistate lottery that has paid record jackpots as high as $363 million.

The California debut of Mega Millions had people lining up at many stores as tickets were offered for the first time.

The potential payoff seemed irresistible for players who ranged from parking attendants to sharp-dressed businesswomen.

Computer administrator Eduardo Cartagena, 25, bought his ticket at a convenience store in downtown Los Angeles.

"I rarely buy tickets, but I thought I'd check it out," he said.

Joyce Chong, co-owner of the store, said that by mid-day she had sold more than 300 tickets for Friday's drawing. That was nearly double the number she sells in an entire day for the existing state Super Lotto.

California lottery officials said about $1.1 million had been spent statewide on Mega Millions tickets by mid-afternoon. Friday's jackpot was estimated at $42 million. By comparison, about $1.6 million had been spent on Super Lotto tickets.

California is the 12th state to join Mega Millions, which had a $363 million jackpot - the nation's record - in May 2000 and a $331 million jackpot in April 2002.

Without California, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot were one in 135 million. With the state, the chances are one in 175 million.

Players pay $1 for a chance to match five numbers between one and 56 and a 'mega ball' number between one and 46.

Even though ticket sales began, questions have been raised about California's involvement with the game.

The California Lottery Commission didn't seek legislation authorizing participation.

Panel members and the state attorney general's office believe the move was legal. But attorneys for the state Legislature said it could violate a requirement in a 1984 ballot initiative that all lotteries run in California be controlled by the state.

Some state legislators believe that by not having the proper legislation, California would be susceptible to lawsuits by anti-gambling groups.

State Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, said he will introduce a bill to protect California from such lawsuits while requiring other states to pay the bulk of administrative costs.

Some residents believe all lottery games in the state should benefit Californians only and doubt that the state will be a long-term player in Mega Millions.

"I don't think it will last," said Kyle Vong, 33, who bought five Mega Millions tickets. "I think the lotteries should be in-state because we as taxpayers pay so much into it."

Others doubt that education will benefit from the new game. About 34 percent of ticket sales from California-only lottery games help fund public education.

As she bought tickets at Bluebird Liquor in Hawthorne, Lauralee Masuda, 43, said she hoped Mega Millions would provide more funding for state education than past games.

"I think it's really sad that the schools don't benefit the way the state said it would," said Masuda, a Hollywood makeup artist.


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10 comments. Last comment 16 years ago by Lottophene.
Page 1 of 1
Lurk More N00b's avatar - ummm
United States
Member #3312
January 10, 2004
35 Posts

Welcome aboard, CA.

    mrmst's avatar - disney14
    Glen Burnie, MD
    United States
    Member #427
    June 27, 2002
    208 Posts

    I also would like to welcome California players to Mega Millions - your money is just as good as anyone elses!!!!


    Good luck and have a Disney Day ºoºHiding Behind Computer

      New York, NY
      United States
      Member #13514
      April 7, 2005
      235 Posts

      Let the Mega Millions madness begin!!!!  Hurray!

        United States
        Member #7853
        October 15, 2004
        11350 Posts

        with new york,california and texas thats a big size poplulation already.....

          United States
          Member #379
          June 5, 2002
          11296 Posts

          MM, regardless of its odds, is a much better game than NY Lotto.

            Redmond WA
            United States
            Member #5966
            July 29, 2004
            71 Posts


            Now all they need to do is add Florida.




            Pudgie agreesWhite Bounce


              United States
              Member #1826
              July 11, 2003
              2645 Posts


              Now all they need to do is add Florida.




              Pudgie agreesWhite Bounce

              That would be nice. But they said they'd only add one more state, and that would be it, no more states. That means Florida will be joining Powerball, starting a new multi-state game, or simply not go multi-state.

              (insert signature here)

                Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
                North Dakota
                United States
                Member #13397
                April 5, 2005
                1623 Posts

                Wouldn't it be strange if FL joined lotto south?  Just imagine what changes to LS.

                How are you going to win if you don't play?

                  twisted's avatar - underground
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #2376
                  September 25, 2003
                  582 Posts

                  Wouldn't it be strange if FL joined lotto south?  Just imagine what changes to LS.

                  That will never happen.  The reason why states join multi-state lotteries like PB and MM is to offer huge jackpots to their residents which their own lottery cant produce.  Big jackpots result in high sales, which is the reason my states join multi-state in the first place.  Florida's lotto can generate the same jackpot levels that Lotto South generates on its own.  So, I dont think they would join LS.


                    United States
                    Member #11562
                    February 17, 2005
                    24 Posts

                    I'm in a powerball state (Louisiana). But weekend drives to Texas are starting to look very attractive.