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Lottery Officials Say Mega Millions Game Legal

Sacramento, CA — State lottery officials have told a Senate committee that they had the authority to join the multistate Mega Millions lotto game even though the authorization wasn´t spelled out in the 1984 initiative that set up the lottery.

The Legislature´s attorneys disagree, and a key lawmaker says he´ll introduce legislation that would allow California to participate in Mega Millions but require the other 11 states to foot at least the bulk of administrative costs.

Senator Dean Florez says the legislation will also bar the California lottery from joining an international lottery in the future.

The state lottery commission voted in February to join Mega Millions. Officials predict the potentially huge jackpots produced by the participation of a dozen states will boost ticket sales and raise more money for schools.

Mega Millions ticket sales start Wednesday and the first drawing involving California is Friday.