Powerball sales start in California; jackpot at $60 million

Rafael Moreno picks his lucky numbers for the Powerball drawing at Bluebird Liquor in Hawthorne on Monday.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The tickets may be a bit pricier than what Californians are used to, but then again, the jackpot is higher too.

With $2 and the ding of a cash register, people could start buying Powerball lottery tickets in California on Monday, marking the first official day of the state’s participation in the nationwide game.

The drawings are every Wednesday and Saturday at 7:59 p.m. PST in Orlando, Fla., with a minimum jackpot of $40 million. Only seven states – Utah, Nevada, Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi and Wyoming – don’t participate in Powerball.


Wednesday’s jackpot is estimated to be $60 million.

Players pick five unique numbers from a field of one through 59, and a Powerball number from one through 35. The Powerball number can be the same as any of the first five numbers.

The odds of winning are 1 in 175,223,510. Winners can take a single lump-sum payment or annual payments over 30 years.

Enthusiasm to join Powerball has picked up steam over the last six months.

A public art display, aptly named the RedBall Project, has partnered with the California Lottery to generate buzz for the game. The ball is expected to end its international tour in Sacramento on Wednesday, the day of the first drawing that California will participate in.

In November, the multistate jackpot swelled to an estimated $550 million, with Californians forced to sit on the sidelines. Within days, the California Lottery Commission unanimously approved joining the game, which is expected to bring in $90 million to $120 million annually to the state. Between $50 million and $100 million of that would go to education.

The revenue takes into account an expected drop off in SuperLotto Plus and MegaMillions sales.

In 2005, California joined the MegaMillions lottery, which set a record last April with a $656 million grand prize, split among three winners.


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