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Interesting Lotto Facts

  1. $193 million California Lotto jackpot was shared among three players in February 16, 2002, turning to be the largest in the history of the state lottery game.
  2. In North America, government-operated lotteries exist in 42 US states, the District of Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and all Canadian provinces. Worldwide, publicly-operated lotteries exist in at least 100 countries on every inhabited continent.
  3. During US lottery sales totaled $53.2 billion. Canadian sales reached $8.2 billion ($Can). New York led the U.S. (and North America) with fiscal 2005 sales of $6.2 billion, followed by Massachusetts with sales of $4.5 billion. The Canadian leaders were Quebec ($3.1 billion) and Ontario ($2.3 billion). Worldwide sales honors go to Japan's Dai-ichi Kangyo Bank Lottery, with sales of $7.9 billion ($US) in 2001. They were followed by the U.K. National Lottery, Loterias y Apuestas del Estado of Spain, Lottomatica of Italy, and France's La Francaise des Jeux.
  4. Since the New Hampshire lottery was founded in 1964, lotteries have raised more than $200 billion for government programs in North America. In fiscal year 04 Canadian lotteries transferred $3.1 billion ($CAN) to their beneficiaries, while U.S. lotteries turned over $14.5 billion ($US) to theirs.
  5. Lottery employees, their immediate family and employees of lottery suppliers are usually not allowed to play the lottery. In practice, there is no way that employees could alter the outcome of a game in their favor, but lottery officials generally believe that public confidence would be damaged should an employee win a large prize.
  6. Chances to hit Texas lottery are now at almost 1:26 million.
  7. The largest lotto jackpot in history was won on February 18, 2006 by a group of eight Nebraska coworkers. The group elected to receive a lump sum payment of $177.3 million (or $22.2 million each) in lieu of an annuity that would have paid out $365 million over a 30 year period. The winning Powerball ticket was purchased in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  8. Lottery winners can usually not remain anonymous because state and provincial lawmakers want the public to know that the lottery is honestly run and so require that at a minimum the name of the winner and their city of residence be made public. This way the public can be reassured that the prize really was paid out to a real person.
  9. Contrary to popular belief, it is not true that the odds of winning the lottery are worse than being struck by lightning. You only need to consider the awarding of large jackpots to dispell this myth. In 1996 1,136 people won $1,000,000 or more playing North American lotteries. An additional 4,520 won $100,000 or more. By contrast, 91 people were killed by lightning. In addition, there's no second prize in a lightning strike. In a lottery, you win lesser amounts of money by coming close to the winning numbers. On many games odds of 1 in 5 or 1 in 4 are not uncommon. Lotteries award over $50 million in prizes in North America every day. Lightning isn't nearly that lenient.
  10. The largest Powerball jackpot was taken by eight co-workers from Nebraska meat processing plant who jointly bought a single ticket that has earned them $365,000,000 during the draw held on the 18th of February 2006.

Sources: NASPL, Lottery Universe (Licensed under a Creative Commons License) & Lotterywest

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