The North Dakota Lottery begins today when Powerball tickets go on sale at 11:15 a.m. CST at almost 400 locations statewide.
The first lottery ticket will be sold at 8:30 a.m. in a Fargo grocery store to lottery leader Andy Maragos, a Republican representative from Minot. Lottery launch ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. CST in Grand Forks, Bismarck, Minot, Dickinson and Williston. All remaining retailers will begin selling tickets 15 minutes later.
Bismarck's lottery launch ceremony will be held at Dan's Supermarket, 3101 N. 11th St. The first Powerball ticket to be sold in Bismarck is scheduled to go to Victor Gustin, of Bismarck, who turns 70 today. His wife, Charlotte, was a longtime Dan's employee who wrote to lottery officials and asked that her husband be allowed to buy the first ticket to celebrate his birthday.
Retailers who sell lottery tickets will give away "First Ticket Sold" certificates, T-shirts, antenna balls and jar grips, and some retailers will have drawings for free merchandise.
North Dakota voters approved joining a multistate lottery in November 2002, after previously rejecting the lottery in 1986, 1988 and 1996.
Powerball is the first of three games the state will offer. Hot Lotto and Wild Card 2 will be introduced in mid-June, and a fourth game likely will be rolled out next year. Hot Lotto and Wild Card have better odds and smaller jackpots than Powerball.
The launch celebration locations are:
* Hornbacher's Southgate, 1532 S. 32nd Ave., Fargo.
* Hugo's, 1750 S. 32nd Ave., Grand Forks.
* Harley's Conoco, 1514 16th St. S.W., Minot.
* DJ's Amoco, 450 W. 12th St., Dickinson (10 a.m. MST).
* Economart, 300 W. 11th St., Williston.