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$70-million pot spurs big lotto sales in N.Y.

New York was in the grip of Lotto fever Saturday as thousands of people lined up for a chance to defy overwhelming odds and hit the state's $70-million lottery jackpot.

The prize is the biggest in New York state history for any regularly scheduled Wednesday and Saturday drawing, lottery officials said.

"Sales are very brisk. People are still out there playing and we expect lines to get longer before the drawing ends," said Dan Codden, a spokesman for the lottery.

He said 12,500 tickets were being sold a minute and that more than 52-million had been sold since early Thursday.

There are 25,897,165 possible combinations of six figures to consider, lottery officials said. The chances of one ticket having all six numbers correctly are 1 in 12.9-million.

One New York State Lotto drawing larger than Saturday's jackpot, a $90-million jackpot in 1991, came about when the legislature appropriated $50-million to spur ticket sales.

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