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California Ready for Mega Millions Lottery

2 June 2005

SACRAMENTO, California – (PRESS RELEASE) -- What would you do if you won $400,000,000? Residents of the Golden State could be faced with that decision with the arrival of MEGA Millions. Known for its mega-sized jackpots, the multi-state lottery game holds the North American record for the most colossal jackpot ever won at $363 million. And, when Californians start buying tickets, jackpots could become even BIGGER!

California will roll out the red carpet for the game's arrival when tickets go on sale statewide on Wednesday, June 22 at California's 18,000 Lottery retailers. And the searchlight will shine bright on Friday, June 24 when the first MEGA Millions jackpot is drawn live from Hollywood, CA at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

"Californians, get ready for some unprecedented Lottery fever! In the first year alone, we're projecting 18 huge jackpots of $100 million or more, of which four could hit the $200 million mark," said Chon Gutierrez, acting director of the California State Lottery. "With MEGA Millions jackpots this big, it's beyond a 'once in a lifetime' phenomenon."

While it may take winners more than one lifetime to spend their winnings, it'll take them only moments to learn how to play and only $1.00 to win. It's as simple as M-E-G-A:

* Mark five numbers from 1 to 56.

* Elect one MEGA number from a second field of numbers from 1 to 46.

* Get all five numbers plus the MEGA number to win the mega jackpot prize.

* Alert your local Lottery retailer to collect and celebrate!

THE "GOLDEN STATE" EFFECT

If everything that the state touches turns to gold, then watch out MEGA Millions players across the country! With the addition of California to the mix, jackpots will now start at $12 million -- instead of $10 million. The payouts for second and third prizes will increase as well. The actual prizes depend on the number of people that play -- all the more reason for Californians to jump on this bandwagon and play MEGA Millions. While striking gold was once a mega fantasy in California, the odds of winning a prize in the MEGA Millions game are only 1 in 40. To strike it "mega," the odds of winning the mega jackpot are 1 in 176 million.

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