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LOTTO FEVER; EVEN SKEPTICS CAN'T RESIST $40 MILLION PRIZE.



Byline: Peter Hartlaub Daily News Staff Writer

A self-proclaimed Super Lotto skeptic, John Wurts John Wurts (August 13, 1792 - April 23, 1861) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

John Wurts was born in Flanders, New Jersey. After his father’s death in 1793 the family resided in Montville, New Jersey, and subsequently moved to
 plays only when the pot is big. On Friday, he played 52 times.

With an unusually high $40 million at stake for tonight's drawing, Wurts and thousands of other lottery lottery, scheme for distributing prizes by lot or other method of chance selection to persons who have paid for the opportunity to win. The term is not applicable when lots are drawn without payment by the interested parties to determine some matter, e.g.  naysayers couldn't help themselves, lining up to buy tickets alongside the office pool representatives and other Lotto regulars.

``Only a fool would play a Lotto ticket,'' Wurts joked after collecting a fistful fist·ful  
n. pl. fist·fuls
The amount that a fist can hold.

Noun 1. fistful - the quantity that can be held in the hand
handful

containerful - the quantity that a container will hold
 of quick picks from a clerk at a Woodland Hills 7-Eleven.

It's the largest jackpot since another $40 million prize a year ago, but far from the record of $118 million set in April 1991. Regardless of the size, the odds of picking the right six numbers are the same - 1 in 18,009,460.

Tonight's jackpot is a landmark: For the first time since the contest started in 1986, the winner or winners must choose to receive their payment in one lump sum Lump sum

A large one-time payment of money.
, instead of the 26 annual payments.

There's just one catch. If you check the box for the lump-sum payment, it will be less than the $40 million because the jackpot is based on what the state would have earned in interest over 26 years.

``A very rough estimate would be half the amount,'' California California (kăl'ĭfôr`nyə), most populous state in the United States, located in the Far West; bordered by Oregon (N), Nevada and, across the Colorado River, Arizona (E), Mexico (S), and the Pacific Ocean (W).  State Lottery A game of chance operated by a state government.

Generally a lottery offers a person the chance to win a prize in exchange for something of lesser value. Most lotteries offer a large cash prize, and the chance to win the cash prize is typically available for one dollar.
 spokeswoman Norma Minas Minas may refer to:
  • Minas, Uruguay
  • Minas Avetisyan
  • Minas (bishop)
  • Minas cheese (from Minas Gerais)
  • Minas Department, Córdoba
  • Minas Department, Neuquén
  • Minas, Cuba, a municipality in Cuba
  • See also: Special:Allpages/Minas
 said. Taking the money in 26 increasing payments, however, would give you $40 million.

If the $40 million jackpot goes to one winner who picks the long-term Long-term

Three or more years. In the context of accounting, more than 1 year.


long-term

1. Of or relating to a gain or loss in the value of a security that has been held over a specific length of time. Compare short-term.
 plan, that person would get $1 million the first year, with the annual payment increasing slightly until the $2.04 million payout pay·out  
n.
1. The act or an instance of paying out.

2. A percentage of corporate earnings that is paid as dividends to shareholders.
 on the 26th year.

The numbers will be posted at 7:57 p.m. Tickets must be bought by 7:45 p.m. Harginder Singh, who manages the 7-Eleven at Fallbrook Avenue and Ventura Boulevard Ventura Boulevard is one of the primary east-west thouroughfares in the San Fernando Valley; as it was originally a part of the El Camino Real (the trail between Spanish missions), Ventura Boulevard is the oldest route in the San Fernando Valley. It was also U.S. , said a local man won part of a $23 million jackpot at his store several years ago.

``He never came back to thank me,'' Singh said.

In a pastime full of superstitions, tips from fortune cookies and intricate picks involving pro athletes' jersey numbers and children's birthdays, Wurts lets the computer pick for him, and says he only plays when the jackpot is big.

He came close to winning last week, correctly picking four of six on one of his tickets. Most of the $83 he won went back to Lotto tickets for tonight's jackpot.

``Well, once the jackpot gets over $17 million, the amount that's paid out is over the amount that's paid in,'' he theorized. ``I'll let the Lotto pay my way for this one.''

Paul Sherman of Woodland Hills said he buys tickets twice every week, adding, ``It doesn't matter if the jackpot's $40 million or $3 million.''

Sherman correctly picked five out of six numbers a few years ago, earning about $4,000, but he figures he's lost a lot more than that over the years.

``They don't let you win - they're smart,'' he said.

Sherman received little solace when informed that some of that money might have gone to help California schools. ``That's good, I guess.''

SUPER LOTTO

BIGGEST JACKPOT: $118 million on April 17, 1991. It was split among 10 winning tickets in which 54 winners had a share.

FAST FACTS: The California State Lottery began in 1985, offering the Lotto game a year later. The current jackpot, $40 million, is the largest since April 1997. The drawing is 7:57 tonight, tickets must be purchased by 7:45 p.m.

BIGGEST SINGLE-TICKET WINNER: $51 million to Augustine Chairenza on June 18, 1994. Ticket was purchased in Lompoc.

CAPTION(S):

Photo

PHOTO (Color) Harginder Singh, manager of a 7-Eleven in Woodland Hills, feeds Lotto numbers into the machine Friday.

Myung J. Chun/Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1998 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 4, 1998
Words:623
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