Calif. dollars add to growing Powerball jackpot

(CBS News) HAWTHORNE, Calif. - Talk about the miracle of compounding interest: Interest in Saturday night's Powerball drawing has grown so much, it's driven the jackpot to $600 million. That would be a 30 billion percent return on a $2 investment. Because of this, there are now longer lines facing even longer odds.

The Primm Valley lotto store is in Nipton, California, just a few yards from Nevada, which is not a Powerball state.

Margaret Lucero was one of thousands on line. "We have been in line two hours," she said. "We want to be the next big winners. You can't be a winner if you don't stand in line."

The line is long for people wanting to buy tickets at Primm Valley lotto store in Nipton, California, for the $600 million Powerball jackpot.
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The odds of winning are 1 in 175 million. But California may have already hit the jackpot. Last month, the state became the 44th and largest state to participate in Powerball. So far the state has sold $83 million worth of tickets.

At 175 million to 1, players of $600 million Powerball jackpot have a better chance being elected president of the United States.

How big a factor is California in these huge jackpots? "It is gigantic," said Jeff Bermont of the California Lottery. "We expect to do at least five percent of the overall market share out of the 44 jurisdictions that are involved in Powerball."

This year, it is estimated that $50 million from Powerball ticket sales will go to California schools.

The rush of players in California and in other states is swelling the pot, which has grown by more than $230 million since the last drawing on Wednesday. Virgina expects to sell nearly 10,000 tickets a minute on Saturday.

So what happens if no one wins the jackpot? "It will be uncharted territory, that's for sure," said Bermont.

At 175 million to 1, players have a better chance being elected president of the United States. Those odds are just 10 million to 1.


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