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How Late Can You Buy Powerball Tickets in California?

Plus, where are the luckiest locations in the state?

By Renee Schiavone , Patch Staff
Jan 13, 2016 3:52 p m PT | Updated Aug 23, 2017 5:04 p m PT

With the clock ticking, there are just hours left to purchase a Powerball ticket here in California.

Hundreds of thousands of people are testing their luck for the $1.5 billion jackpot, and if you want a (very small) shot at the prize, you better get to a lottery retailer before 7 p.m. PST.

And no, you can’t just have been in line by 7 p.m., as the state cuts off sales promptly at that time, and those left in line will be left without tickets. The drawing for the prize will happen just about an hour later, at 7:59 p.m. local time.

While you’re at it, if you are indeed buying a ticket or two, you may want to do so at a store with a “lucky” history.

The California Lottery has compiled a listing of stores throughout the state that have paid out big in the last year, dubbing them “lucky retailers.”

Click here to search for all California Lottery retailers. Click on ‘lucky retailers’ if you want to buy your ticket from a spot that paid out large amounts of prizes to players in the last calendar year.

HOW TO WIN POWERBALL:

The odds of winning the big prize are 1 in 292,201,338, according to MarketWatch. The service points out that the chances of being struck by lightning in any given year are 1 in 700,000.

According to the official Powerball website, the jackpot is won by matching all five white balls, in any order, and the red Powerball. But if you miss that coveted Powerball, you can still win a cool million dollars.

Any time you match the red Powerball, you win a prize. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are approximately 1 in 25. Players win a prize by matching one of the 9 Ways to Win.

WORLD’S LARGEST LOTTERY

“We’re calling it the world’s largest lottery at this point,” California Lottery Spokesman Russ Lopez told Patch on Monday— back when the jackpot was a mere $1.4 billion.

According to the representative, though the Spanish ‘El Gordo’ famously offers up billions of dollars in prizes, that game works differently in that no single person gets the entire jackpot.

“This is the largest game where you can win $1.4 billion with a single ticket,” according to Lopez.

Though the thought of winning of this massive jackpot can be exhilarating, Lopez also reminds anyone who plays to do so responsibly.

“I know it gets crazy . please play responsibly; play within your means, within your budget.”

(Patch photo by Renee Schiavone)

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