Three Tickets Split $193 Million California Lottery Jackpot

Three tickets matched the winning numbers for an unprecedented $193 million state lottery jackpot, officials said Sunday.

None of the winners had come forward by midday Sunday and lottery officials had no information on them. The Presidents Day holiday means the winners will have to wait until Tuesday to present their tickets to lottery officials.

The SuperLotto Plus numbers drawn Saturday were 6-11-31-32-39 and the meganumber was 20.

The three winning tickets were sold at an Albertsons in Half Moon Bay in the northern part of the state and at 7-Eleven stores in Orange and Montebello in the south. The store owners will receive $321,666 each for selling the tickets.

Byron Bennett, owner of the Montebello 7-Eleven, learned his store had sold a winning ticket in a 5 a.m. phone call.

"I thought at first it might be my friend playing a little trick on me," said Bennett, who must share half of his earnings with the convenience store chain. "My wife couldn't believe I was so calm."

In the hours leading up to Saturday night's drawing, Californians and out-of-staters alike made a mad dash to buy tickets.

In the city of Calexico, throngs of buyers made the short walk from Mexicali, Mexico, to stock up.

At Super Shopping Apple Market, which has sold three $1 million-plus tickets over the past 15 years, many buyers came with little more than a will and a way, said manager Joe Moreno.

"A lot don't even know how to play, but as long as they have a dollar bill in their hand, we explain how and hopefully that's another winning ticket we're going to sell," Moreno said.

The $193 million sum is the largest single-state U.S. jackpot, and the fifth-largest including multistate games, the California Lottery said. The biggest lottery payout in U.S. history was $363 million in May 2000 for the multistate Powerball game.

The previous record jackpot in California was $141 million on June 23.

The jackpot was such a draw that Web sites sprang up to illegally offer SuperLotto tickets to out-of-state buyers who didn't come to California. The rules state that a ticket must be bought in person, lottery officials said.

Sales surged as the drawing drew near, lottery officials said, and it was evident in places such as the San Francisco 7-Eleven store where Ed Koehler of Scottsdale, Ariz., went to buy $10 of tickets with his wife.

"When I hear about it on the news, that's when I go and buy," Koehler said.

The couple were spending the weekend in San Francisco and reveled in their timing, though their chances of winning were one in 41.4 million.

Al Castellano, the California man who won the record $141 million last year, also was trying his luck.

On Saturday, Castellano bought $20 worth of tickets at Union Avenue Liquors in San Jose, the same place he bought his ticket last year.

"You never know," Castellano said.