cal lottery, powerball, lottery

Long lines were a common sight at Lottery retailers across the Southland Wednesday as Powerball players dreaming of riches plunked down their money for a shot at tonight’s record-setting $1.5 billion jackpot.

The Powerball game is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

California leads the country in Powerball ticket sales, and that number continues to swell along with the jackpot. According to state Lottery officials, California sales were at $15 million for the day already, topping the $5.1 million durign the same time period on Tuesday. They also noted that since Nov. 7, Californians have purchased more than $300 million in Powerball tickets. That compares to $372 million in tickets they bought during the entire $2014-15 fiscal year.

Tonight’s drawing will be the 20th since the last time someone matched all five numbers plus the Powerball number.

The numbers drawn last Saturday were 16, 19, 32, 34 and 57, with the Powerball number 13. In California, six tickets matched the first five numbers, but missed the Powerball number.

Those tickets — one of which was bought in Orange County’s Dana Point — will bring a consolation prize of almost $780,000 each.

The odds of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number are about 1 in 293 million, according to the Powerball website. The overall chance of winning a prize is 1 in 24.87.

Wednesday night’s drawing takes place at 7:59 p.m., but ticket sales are typically suspended one hour earlier. Powerball tickets cost $2 each.

—City News Service

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