California Lottery Adding Powerball

Game will be available to players in 45 states

Published in CSP Daily News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sales of Powerball lottery tickets in the state of California will begin on April 8, 2013, with the first drawing set for April 10, the California Lottery Commission said.

The commission unanimously voted to formally adopt the multi-state game last November.

It conducted extensive research regarding the viability of offering a second multi-state game and concluded that Powerball would enhance the organization's current portfolio of games.

"We have to continually offer our loyal players a variety of entertaining lottery games, and we firmly believe that Powerball is a right fit for the California Lottery," California Lottery director Robert T. O'Neill said. "I expect Powerball to add anywhere between $50 to $100 million additional dollars to supplement public education funding, which is our one and only mission. Plus, our customers were pretty clear that they wanted us to bring Powerball to California."

The $2 Powerball game is played much like the popular Mega Millions game. Players choose five numbers from 1 to 59 and one red Powerball number from 1 to 35. Players can choose their own numbers or opt for a quick pick.

Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. Unlike Mega Millions and SuperLotto Plus, Powerball's pool closure occurs promptly at 7:00 p.m. PST each draw day. Besides the jackpot, there are eight additional ways to win prizes. The amounts will vary due to the State's pari-mutuel rules.

A major difference between California's existing draw games is that the Powerball jackpot begins at $40 million and increases by at least $10 million every roll.

The Powerball draws take place in Tallahassee, Fla.

With the addition of California, Powerball is available in 45 states. It is not offered in Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah or Wyoming.