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New York to join states selling Powerball tickets

DES MOINES - No need to cross state lines to get the big-jackpot lotto tickets. Dozens of states, including New York, will begin selling both Mega Millions and Powerball tickets on Sunday, moving the United States a step closer to having a national lottery.

By the time all the states sign on to the new system this spring, the nation's two biggest lotteries will be sold in 43 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

New York State, which has participated in the Mega Millions lottery since 2002, will begin selling Powerball tickets on Sunday. The first drawing is scheduled to be held Wednesday.

"We expect there will be larger jackpots faster. We expect there to be more winners," said Margaret DeFrancisco, co-chair of a committee for both lotteries and president and chief executive of the Georgia Lottery Corp.

The estimated jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing was $144 million, and it was $90 million for Saturday's Powerball drawing - both before the Sunday cross-selling begins.

In Powerball, players pick six numbers from two different pools of numbers - five numbers from 1 to 59 and a Powerball from 1 to 39. Odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 195 million.

In Mega Millions, players also pick six numbers from two separate pools - but the five numbers range from 1 to 56 and the Megaball is from 1 to 46. Odds of winning are 1 in 175 million.

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