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Wild Card jackpot bigger than Lottery's signs can display

For Immediate Release: 2/12/2007

(Pierre) -  The jackpot signs at Lottery retail locations across the state say the top prize for the Wild Card 2 lotto game is $999 thousand, but that’s because the signs can’t go any higher.  The estimated jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing is really $1,030,000.

Because they can’t display a larger amount, the signs will continue to show $999 thousand for Wild Card 2 until someone wins and the cash jackpot starts over at $100,000.  The correct jackpot amount is available at the Lottery’s website.

The three foot square signs with LED displays are hung in the convenience and grocery stores that sell lotto tickets.  Each sign can display three digits and decimals for each of the four lotto games offered by the Lottery.  While the numbers can change, the dollar denomination below the amount is permanently displayed.  For Wild Card 2 and Dakota Cash, the denomination is thousands.  For Powerball and Hot Lotto, it’s millions.

“This is only the third time in nine years the jackpot has been more than a million dollars,” said Lottery executive director Norm Lingle.  “But this is the second consecutive run it’s happened.”

A Montana man won the $1,127,000 jackpot in August of last year.  That was the last time someone won the game’s jackpot, and only the second time the jackpot was higher than $1 million.  The first million dollar Wild Card jackpot of $1,284,326 was won in Idaho in August of 2001.

Wild Card 2 is played in South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho and Montana.  Players pick five numbers from 1 to 31 and a face card, and get two plays for $1.  The odds of winning the cash jackpot are 1 in 1,359,288.  The odds of winning any prize in the game are 1 in 6.  The game began in February 1998. 

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