LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Is California’s economy going to be saved by the Powerball?

The highly-anticipated Powerball game — starting in California on April 8 — is expected to add an additional $40-50 million to state coffers annually.

On April 8, former “Saved by the Bell” star and “Extra” host Mario Lopez will join lottery officials and local politicians as they introduce the $2 game to the public at an event at the Grove. (12:30-2:30 p.m., some portions of the event open to the public.)

A recent Powerball jackpot hit $338 million and draws of that size are not uncommon in the game.

California Lottery players already had the option of playing California’s SuperLotto and Mega Millions (played in 41 other states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.) But with it’s unusually large jackpots, California gamers have been clamoring for years to get into the action.

In the portions of the April 8th event open to the public, guests will be able to buy Powerball tickets, spin the Lottery Wheel and have a chance to win Powerball prizes. There will also be food, music and a Billionaire photo booth.

Participants are also invited to bring school supplies to benefit Virginia Road Elementary School in Los Angeles, chosen by the LAUSD.

A similar event will be held at the same time in San Francisco’s Embarcadero Center with a live Internet stream connecting LA to San Francisco.

The current Powerball jackpot is $40 million. Drawings are held Wednesday and Saturday at 8:59 p.m. PT.



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