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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 couldn’t 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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California Lottery Ticket Identification

Tickets are identified simply by number

In addition to weekly drawings, the California State Lottery Commission runs a semifinal drawing whenever the members decide that revenue from the sale of weekly tickets warrants it. Winners of the semifinal drawing are entered in what is known as the 50 Millionaire drawing.

While the prize awards of California’s lottery have gone through lottery plan several changes, here are the ones in use at the time of printing. The commission awards prizes on a miffion-ticket base. Tickets show a six-digit number between 000,000 to 999,999. If 5 million lottery tickets are sold per week, the six digit numbers from 000,000 to 999,999 are repeated five times. The weekly cash prize awards plus 18,999 entrants into the 50c/ Millionaire semifinal drawing per million tickets are as follows act. If all six digits on the ticket match the drawn number, the holder wins $50,000 in the weekly drawing. The last five digits receives $4000; the last four $400; and the last three.

Cash Winners

There are on the average 1,009 cash winners each week for every m tickets sold. And, there are approximately 18,999 entrants into semifinal drawing. To most lottery-ticket buyers, the methods of determining the winners in the California lottery (and other state lotteries) are most confusing. This is because several drawings are required before the ultimate california lottery winners are determined by a gimmick supposed to represent the results of a previously run horse race. The gimmick is purely a subterfuge to avoid the 10% Federal excise gambling tax. That is, since horse racing is exempt from this tax, the ultimate winners are supposedly decided by the results of a horse race, and payment of the tax isn’t necessary.

Here is how the six-digit basic winning number is arrived at. Again, for example, 123456 is the winning number. First, the last four digits are selected. This is done by pushing a button to stop four rotating cylinders. Each sealed transparent cylinder contains a large rubber ball and ten equally spaced positions numbered from 0 through 9. When the motor is stopped suddenly, each ball bounces around in its cylinder and comes to rest in one of the numbered positions. These four numbers become the last four digits of the winning number. Cylinder 1 determines the third number of the six-digit number, cylinder 2 the fourth number, cylinder 3 the fifth, and cylinder 4 the sixth. Now the horse-race gimmick is used.

On the auditorium platform at the drawing site is a giant chart marked “Post Position Finalists.” This chart depicts 10 post positions marked 1 to 10. Alongside each of these 10 post positions are placed the same four selected numbers. In the example I used earlier, these numbers would have been 3456. Next, the memory bank of a giant computer is asked to reveal the unsold tickets ending with XX3456. Because there are only 100 possible combinations of the first two digits (00 to 99), the information can be obtained instantaneously. Next, a fishbowl-type drawing takes california lottery place. One hundred balls numbered from 00 to 99, with the exception of the balls bearing the first two digits of unsold XX3456-form numbers, are placed in a clear bowl and are rotated to mix them up. From this, ten balls are selected at random, one at a time, and as each ball is drawn, its number is noted and placed before the previously selected four numbers and given a post position on the chart. For example, the first ball drawn from the bowl is numbered 33; it is assigned post position No. 1. Number 33 is placed into the empty space next to post position No. 1 and is followed by the last four winning numbers—333456. The second ball is drawn and its number, say 55, is placed in the empty space next to post position No. 2, followed by the previously four selected numbers. Post position No. 2 will show as 553456. And so it goes until each of the ten post positions contains a six-digit number.

The final step is as follows: Ten envelopes are placed in a bowl and thoroughly mixed. Each contains a program sheet from a previously run horse race at a specified track and the post position of the lottery winning horse. In the ten envelopes, naturally, all ten post positions are represented. The winning post position of the first envelope selected (say 2), determines the weekly winning number, namely 553456.
The semifinal drawing is accomplished as follows: The tickets which contain the first 2 and/or the last two correct digits in a weekly drawing are automatically entered in the next announced semifinal drawing. For example, let’s say that out of 20 million tickets sold in a period of several weeks; about 379,980 ticket holders will enter the semifinals. A three-digit number is drawn at random and published in most California papers as the result of the semifinal drawing. Should the last two digits of an entry’s serial number match the last two digits of the three-digit semifinal winner, he receives $100. Should the last three digits of an entry’s serial number match the winning three-digit number of the semifinal drawing, he becomes eligible to enter the 50 Millionaire drawing where the prizes are as follows: $1 million first prize (payable $50,000 a year for 20 years), $200,000 second prize ($20,000 a year for 10 years), $100,000 third prize ($10,000 a year for 10 years), and seven fourth prizes of $10,000 each. All other finalists receive $500 each.