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Robert Catena, an Orange County businessman has just won the $1,000,000 prize in the Million Dollar Raffle. Robert discovered that he was the winner when he looked in the newspaper on sunday morning. According to him, at first he couldn't believe it - "I stared at the numbers for about 30 minutes, I couldnít believe it". Now he is planning to invest some of the money in his business and to improve is house. Congratulations Robert!

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The California Lottery History

The New Hampshire lottery later was patterned after the California lottery.
The New Hampshire lottery gave back to the winning players 35c/ of each dollar they invested. Though it did not achieve the financial bonanza expected by many of its backers, it was responsible for getting the lottery ball rolling in New York. On June 1, 1967, lottery tickets went on sale in New York, making it the second state in the country to get into the legalized lottery business.

New York state lottery tickets first sold for $1. Drawings took place once a month. For each million tickets sold, there were 15 grand prize winners plus 225 consolation prizes. First prize was $100,000; second, $50,000; third, $25,000, and fourth, $10,000. Then there were 11 prizes of $5,000 each. Consolation prizes included 15 prizes of $1,000, 15 of $700, 15 of $400, 15 of $250 and 165 of $150. This adds up to 240 winners (you can read here about your winning chances) splitting up $300,000 in prizes for each million tickets sold. In addition to the monthly drawings, the New York State Lottery Commission ran a $250,000 once-a-year free drawing to stimulate year-round interest. Payments to the $250,000 winner were spread over a ten-year period to lessen the income-tax impact. In addition to this prize there were a number of consolation prizes ranging up to $7,500. To prepare for the special drawing, 200-odd tickets were drawn and set aside from each million tickets sold monthly.

As in the Irish Hospitals’ Sweepstakes, the original New York state lottery monthly winners were chosen by a combination of fishbowltype drawings and the results of a california lottery horse race. But, unlike the Irish Hospitals’ Sweepstakes, the New York state lottery winners were chosen according to the results of a race run before the drawing.

New York Lottery

The original New York state lottery did not achieve the financial results expected by its original backers, due to a poor distribution arrangement. The buyer had to go to a hotel, local government agency or bank to buy a lottery ticket and once there he had to write his name and address on a duplicate ticket, keep the carbon and drop the original into a box. Imagine a laborer, dirty from work and perspiration, walking into a bank and standing an hour in line to purchase a lottery ticket. To add to the problem, Congress passed the 1967 Federal banking statute which prohibited the sale of lottery tickets by banking institutions insured by the Federal government. Fortunately, the distribution problem was solved. Of course, statewide lotteries, like all other legalized gambling ventures, have to go through a period of trial and error before the correct format is found.

The best arrangement to date began on December 16, 1970, when the first of California‚Äôs statewide lottery tickets went on sale. The basic format of the ticket was fashioned after the illegal Treasury Tickets popular during the 1920s and ‚Äė30s (see page 158). All winners are based on a six-digit number obtained from several drawings and the result of a previously run horse race. Tickets sell for SO√ė and the florida lottery has one weekly drawing. Like the illegal Treasury Ticket, the California lottery does not require the name or address of the ticket buyer.

California Lottery Format

California’s weekly ticket sales have taken a sharp drop since the neighboring states of New York, Pennsylvania and others have copied the California lottery format in their own lotteries. Ralph F. Batch, the former executive director of the California Lottery Commission, had instituted a daily lottery in an attempt to replace the lost sales of the weekly lottery. Daily tickets, like the weekly tickets, are sold through agents and special coin-vending machines. These vending machines dispense tickets on a daily basis only, with tickets for each day’s 4:00 P.M. california lottery drawing available until 3:55 P.M. All prizes are based on a five-digit winning number with a maximum of 3,816 cash winners for every 100,000 tickets sold. The $2,500 first prize goes to the ticket with the five digits in order. Prizes of $250 go to ticketholders with the five digits in exact reverse order, the first four numbers in proper order, and the last four digits in reverse order. Prizes of $25 go to ticketholders with the first three numbers in exact order, the middle three, the last three, and all five numbers in any scrambled california combination. A $2.50 prize is paid to anyone with the first two numbers, the second and third, the third and fourth and the last two. In addition, lottery bonus drawings are held periodically in which all daily losing tickets are eligible to participate. Prizes range from a station wagon and automobiles filled with groceries to many other valuable items manufactured or produced in the Garden State.

The daily state lottery, due to its small capital prize of $2,500, is a dismal failure. My friend and former lawyer Charles C. Carella, the present executive director of the California Lottery Commission, and other Commission members are now studying ‚ÄúScarne‚Äôs Proposed State Numbers Plan‚ÄĚ to raise additional state revenue.