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Middle Georgians have mixed feelings about California joining lottery

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Middle Georgians have mixed feelings about California joining lottery

The chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot at the beginning of this week were low, but now the chances are even lower.

California became the 12th state to join the Mega Millions lottery Wednesday, bringing with it a population of 36 million to tonight's Mega Millions drawing.

But even as California has joined the pool, that hasn't stopped Sharon Norton from playing. She said she keeps playing, hoping to hit it big and retire early.

"I think it's fine," said Norton, 39, an X-ray technician. "The more the merrier.... I think it's a good thing."

The 12 Mega Millions lottery states have a total of more than 150 million people, said Margaret DeFrancisco, CEO of the Georgia Lottery Co.

"This process has taken about a year," she said. "We expect larger jackpots at a faster pace."

Before California joined, the odds to win the Mega Millions jackpot were one in 135 million. The chances of winning today's Mega Millions jackpot are one in 175 million.

Rosa Davis of Unionville is a Mega Millions player who said the game is OK but could be better.

"It just don't pay enough money," she said, "but sometimes it gives me four numbers, so that's pretty good."

But with the addition of California, DeFrancisco said, the game could pay a lot more as the jackpot could potentially reach $500 million. She said the second-prize award has grown from $170,000 to $250,000 and third prize from $5,000 to $10,000 because more players equal bigger jackpots.

"To add the people from California, the odds have to grow, so the jackpot isn't won at the lowest level," she said.

However, one Georgia store cashier does not think the higher odds are a fair trade for a bigger jackpot.

"Even though they say the jackpot may be higher, the odds of winning will be lower," said Debbie Foskey, an EnMark cashier on Russell Parkway in Warner Robins. "One man said this morning Georgia won't win anymore; there's too many people in California."

DeFrancisco said Georgia has done well, winning six of the 38 Mega Millions jackpots.

DeFrancisco said Mega Millions players now select five out of 56 numbers instead of the previous five of 52. The Mega Ball selection is one out of 46 numbers instead of one out of 52 as before.

Local lottery vendors said sales have remained constant. Tracy McCall, a cashier at the Exxon Mobile Gas on the corner of Riverside Drive and Spring Street, said the odds aren't going to make much of a difference.

"If (people) are going to play, they are going to play either way it goes," she said.

Susan Riley, manager of Quick Lotto and Videos in north Warner Robins, said, "We haven't sold any more or any less. But most people don't get their ticket until the day of the drawing - Tuesday and Friday."

In addition to the increased odds, lottery players also have a new playslip that has the adjusted numbers on it with the "Quik Pik" option. DeFrancisco said Mega Millions players need to use the new slips to become more familiar with the new numbers.

California joins Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Washington as Mega Millions states.

Mega Millions was first known as The Big Game and began with Georgia, Illinois, Virginia and Maryland, DeFrancisco said. She said the big states with the biggest cities and largest media markets are targeted to join Mega Millions.

"We think this is as big as this game is going to get," DeFrancisco said.

Macon Telegraph

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4 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by Deadsantaclaus.
Page 1 of 1
Coastal Georgia
United States
Member #2653
October 30, 2003
1866 Posts
Posted: June 24, 2005, 1:34 pm - IP Logged

As a Georgian, I too have mixed feelings. Yes, the MM jackpots might get bigger with the addition of Cali's population playing, but the longer odds may be the real reason that the JP's grow.

This is on the heels of Georgia's Fantasy 5 being overhauled recently, giving a free quick pick ticket for matching 2 of 5. What I see is some 15 to 19 thousand more tickets each day going right back into the mix, thus diluting the large jackpots by simply flooding the game. Previously, one had to match 3 to get a payoff, and we saw some million dollar jackpots.                                              Now with the 2 of 5 free quick pick deal, the game is hit almost every nite, or at least every 3 or four draws , so the pot is not that big.

The GA Lottery got what they intended, increased play, but they sacrificed large jackpots at the same time.








    Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
    North Dakota
    United States
    Member #13397
    April 5, 2005
    1623 Posts
    Posted: June 24, 2005, 1:35 pm - IP Logged

    DeFrancisco says, "this is as big as this game is going to get."  I guess that is a clue that no other states will be joining MM.

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

      United States
      Member #7853
      October 15, 2004
      11350 Posts
      Posted: June 29, 2005, 4:40 pm - IP Logged

      i guess if florida joins it will get powerball,cali and florida both have been out of the jackpot scene too long........

        United States
        Member #5364
        July 1, 2004
        88 Posts
        Posted: June 29, 2005, 5:22 pm - IP Logged

        i guess if florida joins it will get powerball,cali and florida both have been out of the jackpot scene too long........

        Georgia and mega millions is just up the road for some of us here in Florida. I'll take powerball in this state and make the occasional trek to St Mary's when appropriate.......