California lottery officials said Thursday that they expect a Lotto jackpot this week of more than $55 million, breaking a North American record, after Wednesday night’s $33.4-million prize went unclaimed.
No one picked the winning set of numbers--1, 4, 15, 22, 26 and 46--although there were long lines outside retail stores Wednesday where Lotto 6/49 tickets are sold.
The biggest Lotto jackpot so far in California was reached last June, setting a North American record at the time. It was $51.4 million and occurred after four jackpot “rollovers"--four consecutive drawings in which no one won the big prize.
This Saturday’s jackpot also results from four rollovers but the base amount is $7 million higher than June’s $26 million, said lottery Director Chon Guterriez. He predicted that the prize would top the month-old $55.16-million record set in Florida if sales are as heavy as expected.
Guterriez urged players to purchase their tickets from the 7,100 retailers throughout the state before an anticipated “lottomania” crush Friday night and Saturday.
Two players split the $51.4-million jackpot June 4. Two other people split $39.1 million Aug. 24, the second largest California jackpot.
Ticket sales for Wednesday’s game totaled more than $35 million--$850,000 Sunday, $3.5 million Monday, $4.7 million Tuesday and $26.036 million Wednesday, lottery officials said.