First California Powerball drawing carries over

FRESNO, California

Everything about adding Powerball to the California Lottery has to do with the big jackpots. In some cases, the game is already making more money for valley retailers.

More than 300 tickets were sold at Elite Liquor in Northwest Fresno since Monday. "I hit it once here, already," said Mary Guererro. "So, I'm going to try it again."

For years Californians just had to sit and watch as other states played to win jackpots topping as much as $578 million. Now they're picking up their own tickets. The game costs two dollars and you can pick your own five lucky numbers, plus the Powerball number, or you can choose quick picks.

"Yes, some people are very excited," said Elite Liquor owner Bob Bhaurla. "This is the game they want to play. It's a big game, everybody wants big money. Small money they don't care. But yes, they are excited."

Lottery officials say this big new game will donate at least $40 million annually to California public schools. That will fluctuate with ticket sales. Since Monday, lotto officials say $10 million worth of tickets were purchased. They're also offering special promotions -- tied into other lotto games.

"If you happen to see one of these little signs at a retailer where we're conducting the promotion, if they don't ask you to play Powerball, you're going to get a free super lotto coupon," said Henry Hernandez from the California Lottery.

Powerball tickets are printing out at a faster rate than Mega Millions and Super Lotto Plus.

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