California lottery ticket. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

State lottery officials said the estimated jackpot for Saturday’s Powerball drawing is $800 million, as San Diegans lined up at convenience and liquor stores to purchase tickets.

“You’ve gotta take a chance,” an unidentified man at a store in Kearny Mesa told CBS8. “If you don’t take a chance, you’re not going to win. Odds are you’re not going to win, but you don’t know, so you have to try.”

He also said he wasn’t sure what he’d spend the money on if he won the multi-state game.

Saturday’s jackpot represents the largest single amount of any draw game to date, according to the lottery. The largest previous Powerball jackpot was May 18, 2013, when a single ticket purchased in Florida matched all six numbers to win a $590.5 million prize.

The largest jackpot in the U.S. was on a Mega Millions draw on March 30, 2012, when the lucky owners of three tickets in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland split a staggering $656 million.

How much money the winner, or winners, actually receive depends on whether they choose to receive annual payments over 20 years, or take a single lump sum, which would be an estimated $496 million.

The draw is scheduled for 7:59 p.m. Pacific Time Saturday.

—City News Service

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