There was a lot of last-minute Powerball ticket buying across California on Wednesday as the jackpot soared to $425 million.
There were lines at some popular lottery retailers as well as along the borders with states that don’t have Powerball.
Employees at Alan’s Liquor in Port Hueneme said there has been a constant line at their store.
They expect sales will be highest in the final hours before the draw.
“The day is not over yet,” said employee Joseph Asaad.
Eduardo Duran, a worker at Blue Bird Liquor in Hawthorne, said tickets have been “selling quite a bit.”
He noted that some people might buy 200 or 300 tickets at a time on behalf of a group.
“It’s $425 million, you know?” he said.
More than 1 million $2 tickets had been sold in California by mid-morning Wednesday for the Powerball jackpot drawing set to occur Wednesday night.
Since the state joined the game on April 8, no one in California has won a Powerball jackpot. The drawing is at 7:59 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets must be purchased by 7 p.m.
Tonight’s take-all odds? One in 175 million, said California Lottery spokesman Russ Lopez.
Chances to win everything may be slim, but one in 55 people stand to win at least something, Lopez said. Prizes are awarded if one or several numbers match the six drawn.
On July 31, one Californian with five matching numbers won about $3.1 million.
That person has yet to claim the prize, which is the highest to be earned playing the game by anyone in the state so far.
The last jackpot winner, a woman in Florida, took home nearly $600 million on May 18.
The grand prize amount, which started again at $40 million, has been building since.
People become more interested in the game when the jackpot hits $100 million, Lopez said.
On Aug. 3, the jackpot was $300 million.
“When it gets into the hundreds of millions of dollars, it becomes a frenzy,” Lopez said.
Some L.A. area locations, including a stand at the Grove, are known for selling winning lotto tickets, Lopez said.