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Long lines form as Powerball ticket sales comes to California

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POSTED April 9, 2013 7:11 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hopeful Californians with $2 to spare waited in long lines as Powerball lottery tickets went on sale for the first time in the state.

They weren't concerned about the long odds of one in about 175 million.

Bluebird Liquor in Hawthorne started selling Powerball tickets at 7 a.m. Monday. By noon about 8,000 had been purchased, employee Eduardo Duran told the Los Angeles Times.

A line snaked outside the store for much of the day, and Duran credited the new lottery game with an uptick in overall sales.

John Apodaca of Hawthorne, who waited to buy a ticket, said he had played Powerball in New York while visiting his daughter. He's happy now that he doesn't have to leave the state.

"The Powerball came to me," Apodaca, 62, told the Times. "I didn't go to the Powerball this time."

The first drawing in the twice-a-week multi-state game is scheduled for Wednesday. As of Tuesday morning, the jackpot was estimated at about $60 million.

The prize increases at least $10 million after every drawing without a winner. Powerball jackpots regularly swell to over $100 million.

Powerball has a starting prize that's more than three times as large as Mega Millions, a best-selling game in California. Lottery officials expect Powerball to be more popular.

"It sounds ridiculous to say, but if the jackpot is $56 million, it just doesn't motivate people the way a $656-million jackpot does," Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state lottery, told the newspaper.

In the multi-state game, players choose five numbers from 1 to 59 and one red Powerball number from 1 to 35.


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