$425-million Powerball jackpot attracts players from Las Vegas
The jackpot for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing was at an estimated $425 million -- and that’s not just from players in California.
California joined the game in April. But Nevada does not have a state lottery. That has not stopped some in Las Vegas from driving 40 miles to buy Powerball tickets.
According to ABC13, it’s become a custom for Las Vegas residents to make the trek when the Powerball jackpot gets high enough.
There has also been excitement in California about the $2-per-entry game.
The massive jackpot up for grabs Wednesday has been rolling since late June.
California alone has already sold about $275 million in Powerball tickets since the game arrived in the state, lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said.
“This is sort of the reason we joined—because of the potential for the jackpot to grow,” he said. “Everyone’s working themselves up into a frenzy again.”
Last year the state lottery got a glimpse of the possibilities when its Mega Millions multistate game grew to a $656-million prize. That game alone added $300 million in sales for the lottery over two months, resulting in a 27% increase in total revenue for the year.
Powerball is even larger than Mega Millions, with a starting jackpot that is more than three times as large. The games are similar—requiring players to match up to six numbers—and the odds of hitting the jackpot in each of the games are almost the same: 1 in about 175.2 million for Powerball and 1 in about 175.7 million for Mega Millions.
Officials say that, with Powerball’s $2 tickets, jackpots in that game can rise faster with fewer tickets sold than in a game like Mega Millions, which costs only $1 per play.
Traverso said that if there is no winner of Wednesday’s drawing, there is a “real shot” the Powerball record will be broken on Saturday.
Get breaking news, investigations, analysis and more signature journalism from the Los Angeles Times in your inbox.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.