Will Playing the Lottery in Southern California Turn You Into a Billionaire?

Southern California has been on a fairly extraordinary winning streak. The streak itself is small, but the numbers involved are big: billions-of-dollars big.

Over the last 12 months, three separate buyers of lottery tickets in California have each won more than $1 billion, with one of them winning a record-setting $2 billion.

Between the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries, nine jackpots in the United States have reached $1 billion or more since 2016. In four of those drawings, a winning ticket was sold in Southern California.

So what’s going on with all of the wins there?

First, let me explain what’s happening: The jackpots this year got so big because months went by without a winning combination for the top prize. Huge jackpots have become increasingly common in the multistate Mega Millions and Powerball lottery drawings because of changes to the games over the years and higher ticket prices.