Powerball offers some of the biggest payouts. In the past few months, jackpots have reached as high as $580 million, prompting Californians to drive to Arizona for a chance at big bucks. But Powerball's debut in the state signals the end of lottery road trips.
The reason Powerball jackpots get so high is every jackpot starts at $40 million. With California now playing, that adds millions of new potential players and dollars.
"We contribute to education, and so we're just trying to increase our sales. Right now we're looking for $5 billion," said Powerball official Lucinda Garcia.
That $5 million is the goal for California lotto ticket sales this year, with the money going to support public education at a time when it could certainly use a boost.
Unfortunately, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot aren't high. According to Caltech professor emeritus of mathematics Gary Lorden, you're more likely to win in Las Vegas, or be killed in an accident on your way to buy a Powerball ticket.
A tip for Powerball hopefuls: Garfield Liquor in Montebello has a reputation for being lucky, as the store has sold winning lottery tickets in the past.