$125-Million Lotto Pot Will Be Biggest

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Folks have been a bit scatterbrained about lotteries lately. Maybe $125 million will be enough to hold their attention this time.

California Lottery officials said Thursday that the SuperLotto Plus jackpot will be worth that much for Saturday's drawing, the largest in the lottery's 16-year history.

No one in California has won a jackpot--which requires an exact match of five numbers, plus the sixth "mega" number--since May 19. The prize has "rolled over" nine times since that $25-million win.

Saturday's drawing comes on the heels of two recent big wins by absent-minded players. In March, an Upland couple who lost an $11-million ticket in a stack of bills found it 24 hours before it expired. Last week, a New Jersey man who lost a $46-million ticket in a junk drawer found it shortly before it expired and then casually dropped it in a mailbox to claim his prize.

On Thursday, however, plenty of people were already focusing on this weekend's drawing.

Interest was high across California, as buyers lined up to buy $1 tickets at 19,000 vendors. State officials may increase the jackpot even higher if enough tickets are purchased before Saturday's draw.

Oddly, the only concern among Lottery players Thursday seemed to be that they couldn't figure out how to spend the winnings.

"I could never spend it," said 41-year-old truck driver John Thomas, who already has seven tickets for this weekend's drawing. "I would just end up giving it away. Everyone I know would get some of it."

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