The California Lottery
The California State Lottery is a relative latecomer to the charitable lottery business considering that gaming was legalized in the late sixties. Many wonder if the state had some kind of hangover from the corrupt consequences of the California Gold Rush. Close proximity to the games of Las Vegas probably had a lot to do with the lack of gambling options in California.
At any rate, the California Lottery Act was passed on November 6, authorizing the creation of a state lottery. The purpose of this lottery was to provide extra funding for California’s schools so that citizens would not be taxed for improvements to the educational system that needed to be made.
In California, the charitable mandate is that that all lotteries run in the state must donate at least 34% of its revenues to public education. Like other states, the state of California also mandated that a minimum of 84% of money raised through ticket sales must be returned to the public in the form of lottery prizes, which is one of the highest rates of return of revenue to the public that exists for a lottery.
The state also made it law that no more than 16% of the lottery profits are to be spent on the administration and advertising of the game to avoid the type of wild profiteering and corruption that the state has experienced with illegal gaming in the past.
Like most lottery commissions in the United States and Canada, the California State Lottery, is a pari-mutuel state, meaning that by law the prize values can never be fixed and then offered as one amount. Instead the jackpot for the lottery is dependent on sales and number of winning tickets.
Super Lotto Plus
There are a couple of lotto options available in California. Its mainstay lottery is the Super Lotto Plus Lottery that allows you to pick five numbers from a list of 1 through 47 and a final bonus number known as the mega number from a list of 1 through 27. This is a six number game that costs a buck per play. The results of this lottery, which boasts large payouts of hundreds of thousands of dollars, are drawn every Wednesday and Saturday at 7:57 pm.
As in many states, the Mega Millions lottery is extremely popular in California. California joined Mega Millions on June 22, 2005 becoming the 12th state to join the multi-state lottery. The first draw was held in Hollywood California to welcome Mega Millions to the glamorous state in style.
To play Mega Millions the player must pick 5 numbers from a list of numbers that are listed 1 through 56, and a final number, called a mega number from a list of numbers that are 1 through 46. It is unique because you can pick as many as 20 extra plays and manipulate them to accommodate one drawing. The game costs $1 per play. The lottery is drawn every Tuesday and Friday at 8:00 pm PST. The results are also widely available in the local media.
The Daily 3 lottery in California is just like the name sounds. It allows you to pick a set of 3 numbers, zero through nine, and choose whether or not you want to play the numbers as a straight, boxed, or straight/box option. This inexpensive lottery game costs only $1 to play. You may also purchase up to 14 extra plays to increase your chances of winning. There are two draws every day and the results of both are televised on local television stations at 6:59pm PST.
Scratch and Win Lotto
In California, Scratch and Win type instant games are called "Scratchers". Scratchers are lottery games that you scratch off a top layer of thin layer on a card to see if you won a prize. The prizes are smaller than other lottery games, but there are better odds. One in five tickets is known to pay off one way or another if you play a scratch instant win ticket in California.
In 2006, there are 37 different types of scratcher games that are going to be offered and they range in price from one dollar to five dollars. Most are based on other common games such as Bingo, Tic Tac Toe and Keno. Only Ohio offers more Scratchers than California.
Daily Derby is a fake horse racing betting system. You choose three horses, one to finish first, one to finish second and one to finish third. You can make more money by trying to guess how long the race will last and by choosing a time for the race to finish. The times range from 1:40:00 to 1:49:99. The game is more expensive than the other lotto options and costs $2 per play. The results of the “horse race” (that are really just random numbers picked by a computer) are broadcast every day at 6:59 pm on local television stations.
Hot Spot is another favorite game in California. You then pick a number one through eighty to bet on and an amount you would like to spend on betting this number. You can also choose how many times to play each ticket, up to eight times. You can also make bets up in amounts from one dollar to twenty dollars.
Part of the Hot Spot draw’s popularity is that it never seems to sleep. Draws are every 5 minutes making the game seem somehow reminiscent of playing in a Keno lounge. Many lottery vendors have screens that display Hot Spot drawings and recent results from other lottery games on a video monitor right in their store.
Fantasy 5 is another mainstay one dollar per play game in California. In this five number game, you can pick up to 5 plays per ticket. The winning numbers are picked every day at 6:35pm and televised at 6:59pm on the local news stations.
Like everywhere else in the country all prizes on scratchers, Fantasy 5, Daily Derby, Daily 3, and non jackpot Super Lotto Plus and Mega Millions prizes, are to a subject to 25% Federal tax if the prize is larger than $600. However California recently stopped deducting state tax on the big lottery winnings. The cash prizes for Super Lotto Plus and Mega millions jackpots are tax-free.
The Super Lotto Plus' annuity payment schedule does have one peculiarity. Money is doled on a graduated basis, which means that the annuity payment grows slightly larger with every year. However the payments for the Mega Millions annuities are the same amount every year.
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