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    California Offers Mega Millions Lottery

    The state joins 11 others to offer the game, with proceeds to support school systems.

    LODI, Calif. -- Tickets for the multi-state lottery game Mega Millions started being sold in California Wednesday, and the starting jackpot is $12 million, according to the Lodi, Calif.-based Lodi News-Sentinel.

    The state joined 11 other states in the Mega Millions lottery game and jackpots are expected to reach in the range of $300 million to $500 million.

    Chon Gutierrez, acting director of California State Lottery, said about 37 percent of the revenue from in-state ticket sales will go to support the state's school system.

    California ticket buyers will be competing with other lottery players in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

    Some stores had customers buying lotto tickets soon after they read the news in the newspaper, said Barbara Ahame, owner of a Shortstop Mart and gas station in Lodi.

    "Customers coming in know about it," she said. "I have no problem selling it. (Mega Millions) sold itself."

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