Californians experienced a touch of Lotto fever as the jackpot for the Wednesday night drawing climbed toward an estimated $33 million, the third largest in the computerized game.
Lottery spokesman Bob Taylor said that sales were running significantly ahead of last week. From Sunday to Wednesday last week, the lottery logged sales of $14 million, compared with $19 million from Sunday to mid-afternoon Wednesday this week, he said.
The heaviest sales period is always the last few hours before a drawing, Taylor said.
“There’s a lot of excitement out there,” he said, adding that it had not risen to the level of lottomania generated by two larger jackpots.
The second largest jackpot, $39.1 million, was awarded Aug. 24. The largest, $51.4 million, came on June 4.
The size of the jackpot depends on the pace of sales and roll-overs, or additions, of past prizes that nobody wins to subsequent drawings. Three consecutive roll-overs helped generate the large jackpot for the Wednesday drawing.
If no one picks all six correct numbers in Lotto 6/49 again, the resulting prize roll-over could push the Saturday jackpot to a record amount, lottery officials said.