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Hit The Jackpot? Yeah, You And Who Else?


Up Front: PRODUCT PEEK

HIT THE JACKPOT? YEAH, YOU AND WHO ELSE?

For those who would like to pool their chances at winning the state lottery but don't have a bowling team or bridge club to go in with, an outfit named National Pools has an answer.

For $2.95, the company will sell you 100 chances at winning California's twice-weekly Super Lotto, whose pot had reached $20 million by Aug. 31. The catch: A winner has to split the prize with 99 other ticket holders in the pool. Of the $2.95, $1 goes to buy a ticket, the rest to National Pools. CEO Joseph Monterosso says the pooling program, which started in San Diego earlier this summer, eventually will go statewide. He hopes to get 1% of the California Lotto market and $11 million in yearly revenue. Next, he wants to pool lottery players in 37 other states.

The strategy would make P.T. Barnum proud: The odds of winning a big jackpot, whether solo or in a pool, are infinitesimal. Monterosso argues that a pool does enhance your chances. State officials are examining the legality of the concept. So far, the lone National Pools win has snagged $105.Russell Mitchell


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