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December 17, 2013 | By Daniel Rothberg
We asked readers to share the first thing they'd do after winning the Mega Millions jackpot , which rose to $636 million Tuesday. Some of our favorite responses:   ALSO: Brian Griffin is alive, well and the Most Powerful Dog of 2013 Cellphone crashing: Prankster invades fliers' space in viral video Movie quotes quiz: From 'Ben-Hur' to 'Bridesmaids,' who said it? Twitter: @danielrothberg
April 2, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
A Northern Californian invoked the "luck of the Jedi" on Tuesday when he came forward to claim the $425.3-million Powerball jackpot he won after playing the lottery for 20 years. Wearing a shirt featuring the "Star Wars" character Yoda with the words “Luck of the Jedi I have," retiree B. Raymond Buxton came forward to officially claim his prize, telling officials he purposely chose April Fools' Day to turn in his ticket and take the one-time cash option. His cash option will be worth about $242.2 million before taxes.
November 28, 2012 | By Connie Stewart and Joseph Serna, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Don't bother telling Wednesday night's Powerball winners  that a lottery is just a tax on those who flunked math. With a winning ticket in hand, or even just the dream of one, who cares if the odds against them exceeded 175 million to 1?  Last-minute ticket-buying pushed the jackpot to nearly $580 million, which is how much a single winner would get if he or she took the money in annual payments over 30 years.   The winning numbers: 5-16-22-23-29, and the Powerball:  06.  Hours after the 8 p.m. drawing, officials said winning tickets had been sold in Arizona and Missouri.
April 1, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
For high school seniors, this is the season when hope meets reality when it comes to college admission - except for a Long Island teenager who has won the equivalent of the academic jackpot. Kwasi Enin, 17, of Shirley, N.Y., has been accepted by all eight Ivy League schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. He now gets to choose among a cornucopia of educational riches.   "The yeses kept coming," Enin, who wants to be a physician, told Newsday, the Long Island newspaper.
December 16, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
The Mega Millions jackpot hit $586 million Monday morning, putting it within closer range of the all-time record. The jackpot had been at $550 million earlier in the morning, but was revised upward as more people in the multi-state lottery rushed to buy their tickets. The cash payout was also revised upward, from $295 million to $316 million. “The dream of winning is fun … you know, until you don't match any of the numbers,” Phill Kaplan, 30, of Denver  told the Los Angeles Times.
August 7, 2013 | By Emily Foxhall
There was a lot of last-minute Powerball ticket buying across California on Wednesday as the jackpot soared to $425 million. There were lines at some popular lottery retailers as well as along the borders with states that don't have Powerball. Employees at Alan's Liquor in Port Hueneme said there has been a constant line at their store. They expect sales will be highest in the final hours before the draw. "The day is not over yet," said employee Joseph Asaad. Eduardo Duran, a worker at Blue Bird Liquor in Hawthorne, said tickets have been "selling quite a bit. " He noted that some people might buy 200 or 300 tickets at a time on behalf of a group.
May 20, 2013 | By Matt Stevens
And now the Powerball jackpot is back to a paltry $40 million. Thousands of California players woke up Sunday morning disappointed to discover that, in fact, they did not live in the small town of Zephyrhills, Fla., and did not win $600 million. By Monday morning, lotto fever had cooled. Lottery officials have said that jackpots over $200 million tend to draw casual players who don't normally play when the jackpot is $40 million or thereabouts. "It sounds ridiculous to say, but if the jackpot is $56 million, it just doesn't motivate people the way a $656-million jackpot does," Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state lottery, said in reference to a record-setting Mega Millions jackpot.
May 17, 2013 | By Matt Stevens
A record Powerball jackpot climbed Friday morning to a mind-numbing $600 million, and lottery officials speculated the jackpot would continue to soar in the run-up to Saturday's drawing.   The new tally sets a record for the largest Powerball jackpot in history. The question now is whether the current Powerball jackpot will eclipse the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot from March 2012. “I think it's going to be really, really close,” said California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso.
September 18, 2013 | By Matt Stevens
California Lottery officials are projecting a jackpot of about $400 million for Wednesday night's Powerball drawing, the third-largest prize this year and fifth-largest in U.S. lottery history. In prior big jackpot situations, frenzied ticket sales have driven up the pot in the final hours before the drawing. But lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said officials would have been informed Wednesday morning if the jackpot was going to jump.  QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Powerball  “It feels like it snuck up on us a little bit,” Traverso said.
December 18, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Tuesday's much-anticipated Mega Millions jackpot, worth an estimated $636 million, will be split by the owners of two winning tickets -- one sold in San Jose, the other in Atlanta, lottery officials said Wednesday. In California, the winning ticket -- with numbers 8, 14, 17, 20, 39 and a Mega number of 7 -- was sold at Jenny's Gift Shop in San Jose, according to state Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso . The store will collect a $1-million retailer bonus, he said. RELATED: San Jose shop owner glad he sold winning Mega Millions ticket Twenty tickets were sold nationwide that matched five of six numbers, just missing the Mega, and are worth $1 million each, except for two in California that are worth $2.6 million each because of different rules.
April 1, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
A Northern California man who won a $425.3-million Powerball jackpot in February has come forward to claim his prize, California Lottery officials said Tuesday. B. Raymond Buxton, a retiree, told Sacramento officials he purposely chose April Fool's Day to turn in his ticket and take the one-time cash option. It will be worth about $242.2 million before taxes. He wore a shirt featuring the "Star Wars" character Yoda with the words “Luck of the Jedi I have.” Buxton told officials he was getting lunch at a Subway inside the convenience store at Dixon Landing Chevron in Milpitas when he decided to buy a second ticket for the February draw.
March 19, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A winning Mega Millions ticket worth nearly $2 million was sold at a San Bruno liquor store, but no one from the Golden State will share in Tuesday's overall jackpot of $414 million. Instead, cowinners from Florida and Maryland will split the third-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history with a cash value of more than $224 million. The largest jackpot was $656 million, split among winners in three states in 2012. Lottery officials said the two tickets matched all six numbers drawn Tuesday night: 11, 19, 24, 33, 51, plus the Mega Ball of 7. Eight people in various states matched five numbers correctly and won at least $1 million each.  The ticket sold at Huntington Liquor in San Bruno, missing only the Mega Ball, is worth $1,962,339, according to lottery officials.
March 18, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
If the Lakers ever need inspiration during their darkest season ever, they can always look to one of their sworn enemies. The San Antonio Spurs were there too, not that long ago. They lost future Hall of Famer center David Robinson for almost an entire season, finished 20-62, got lucky in the lottery and won Tim Duncan with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft. The Spurs have taken four championships since then and own the NBA's best record this season with Duncan still a huge factor, averaging 15.1 points and 9.9 rebounds at age 37. As a casual reminder of the importance of lottery picks, San Antonio (50-16)
March 15, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
Though it's not the all-time record, $400 million is nothing to bat an eye at. The Mega Millions lottery has swollen to its third biggest jackpot in game history after no one hit all six numbers on Friday. The next drawing will be held Tuesday. Tickets will be sold until 7:45 p.m. Pacific time, with the drawing at 8 p.m. The jackpot, after taxes, would have an estimated cash value of $224.8 million, according to the California Lottery. The game is played in 43 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
March 5, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Apparently casinos are good for losing more than just cash. A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. found that adding slot machines to California casinos was linked to a modest reduction in obesity rates for Native American children. Specifically, researchers found that for every one-armed bandit added per child, there was a corresponding 0.19% reduction in obesity risk. Study authors based their conclusions on an examination of 117 California school districts that encompass tribal lands.
February 26, 2014 | By Amina Khan, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Using a brand-new technique, scientists using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope have found 715 confirmed planets huddling around 305 stars, nearly triple Kepler's previous total of 246 confirmed planets in the Milky Way galaxy. Nearly 95% of them are smaller than Neptune, and four of them are in their star's habitable zone, the region where liquid water - a necessary ingredient for life as we know it - could exist. Even though the planet-hunting telescope's crucial pointing ability was crippled last year , data mined from the spacecraft are still turning up a trove of strange and wonderful worlds, researchers said - bringing them ever closer to finding "Earth 2.0. " “We've been able to open the bottleneck to access the mother lode and deliver to you more than 20 times as many planets as have ever been found and announced at once,” said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center who led one of two papers on the discovery set to be published in the Astrophysical Journal.
February 20, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
Now the waiting game begins. Someone, somewhere, purchased a Powerball ticket in Milpitas, Calif., that will pay out around $425.3 million. That person has up to a year to claim the prize, but California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said usually winners of a prize this large will claim their money within a week. He had a message Thursday for the winner: “Set your mind at ease, sign the back of the ticket, go to our East Bay office,” Traverso said. “Let us handle all the details of your press conference.” California Lottery jackpot winners are not required to hold a news conference, he said, “but it will make this person's life easier if they handle all this media at once.” Only six states allow winners to be anonymous.
February 19, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
If no one wins tonight's $400-million Powerball drawing, the money will rollover, and the jackpot could soar to $500 million, lottery officials say. The drawing is scheduled for 10:59 p.m. EST, or 7:59 p.m. on the West Coast, according to the Multi-State Lottery Assn. Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday night. The $400-million jackpot is the sixth-largest in U.S. lottery history, and the odds of winning are about 1 in 175 million, officials said. “We're getting into this routine now where this is becoming normal,” California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said, “which is great for us because when you look at sales, they're steadily climbing.” Traverso said that year-to-date, the California Lottery is generating about 150% of the revenue it did during the same period in the previous fiscal year.
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