Powerball Game debuts in California next week

Game may generate up to $50 million for schools

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Get your lucky numbers ready to play.  The lottery game that's caused pandemonium in so many other states is making its way to California.

As we all know the recent jackpot for Powerball reached more than $300 million dollars and with the game now coming to California $2 at a gas station can go a long way while helping public schools at the same time.

At many California stores, all signs point to Powerball.

"The jackpot's bigger," said a woman.

The multi-state lottery that's created nationwide frenzies is coming to California on Monday.

"Oh yeah, I'm ready for it, I'm ready for it. I play here all the time," said Dewayne Cornell, who plays the lotto regularly.

Some California liquor stores are covered in posters from the five winning lottery tickets sold here.  This was the line outside when the mega millions jackpot was up last year, but are they ready for Powerball?

"We're just glad that it's not gonna start out at $500 million come Monday," said David Spahn, liquor store manager.

Katrina Moretti is no stranger to small lottery wins.

"The highest I've won is like $1,500 dollars," she said.

As for winning at Powerball?

“It's just like the luck of the draw," she said.

Lottery players say it’s all about luck of the draw, while workers say about two thirds of the tickets sold are randomly generated quick picks and two thirds of their big winners have been quick picks, but how do you account for the number of winning tickets? Just about everyone has a theory.

"It's a retirement community. That's where it all hits at.  Somehow, old folks always win!" said Robert Greer who plays the lotto.

But statistics professor Mike Orkin says that too – it’s the luck of the draw.

"Just by chance, because of the interesting nature of randomness, there will be some stores that have more winning tickets sold than others," he said.

The one certainty -- is that California schools are among the winners because Powerball could bring in up to $50 million dollars in revenue.  As for the odds you could win, Orkin says they're almost identical to the odds of winning mega millions.

"If you buy $50 million or Powerball tickets a week, you'll win the jackpot on the average of once every 68,000," he said.

There are launch events taking place all at the same time on Monday in Los Angeles and in San Francisco to help welcome Powerball to the state.

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