By Matt Youngfrau
NEW YORK STATE May 17, 2002 On Wednesday, New York residents got their first opportunity to play Mega Millions, the Multi-State Powerball Lottery that was part of the gaming legislation NYS Governor George Pataki signed into law last year. The states that are a part of the lottery are New York, Georgia, Ohio, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey.
Each play card has five games. A person can play from one to five games on each ticket. Each game played costs a dollar apiece.
Each game has two sections with 52 numbers in each section. A player selects five numbers from the upper section and one Powerball number from the lower section.
Just like the New York State Lotto, players can pick their own numbers or choose randomly and have the computer do it. If a person wins, they have the choice of a lump-sum cash value or 26 annual payments. Like all other lottery games, proceeds are supposed to go towards education.
Players can win twice a week. Drawings are done during the 11 p.m. news on Tuesday and Friday nights. Locally, it can be seen on WABC-TV Channel 7.
New York State's first Mega Millions drawing is today. That prize, as of Wednesday afternoon, is $25 million. According to lottery officials, prizes can rise as high as $500 million.