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Third Largest Lotto Pool Hits $44.3 Million

From a Times Staff Writer

Hopeful gamblers bet more than $30.2 million Saturday, seeking the third largest jackpot in California Lotto history--$44.3 million.

Whether any lucky Lotto 6/49 player picked the winning combination--or if there was more than one winner--won’t be known until later today, said Lotto spokesman John Schade. If no one drew the winning combination, the prize money will be rolled over to Wednesday’s drawing.

Saturday’s prize pool was eclipsed by the record $61.98 million, a north American record, set Oct. 29, and the $51.4 million paid in June.

If lottery officials determine there was only one winner in the latest drawing, the lucky ticket holder will receive $1.8 million per year after taxes for the next 20 years. The award for holding five of the six winning number plus the bonus number will be $5.2 million. If more than one person picked the right numbers, the prize pool will be evenly split.

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Holders of five of the numbers will share $2.7 million and winners with four numbers will split $2.4 million.

Schade said a total of $75.7 million was spent during the week, including tickets for Wednesday’s drawing, in which there was no grand prize winner. While not a record, the pace of sales could put the current Lotto drawing in the record-setting category if there were no top prize winners from Saturday’s drawing, Schade said.

Half of the dollars bet in the Lotto goes into the prize pool. About one third of the Lotto receipts are spent on education. LOTTERY RESULTS

MARCH 4

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Saturday’s Winning Numbers:

16-26-27-36-43-45

Lotto Jackpot

$44.3 million

Bonus Number 4

Recorded Information

976-4275 (English)

976-5275 (Spanish)

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