The Oklahoma Lottery Commission is expected to deliver its first payment to the state treasury this month. The amount will represent the state's cut from the games in the last quarter of 2005. All indications are it will be lower than expected.

Much of the excitement over the early "Scratch-off" and "Pick Three" games seems to have fallen. The inclusion this week of the "Powerball" sweepstakes should help ratchet up interest in the lottery. Oklahoma became the 28th state, in addition to the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to participate.

Few people were standing in line Thursday morning when sales of Powerball tickets opened. That might happen tonight, if trends in other states continue. Sales usually peak a few hours before the cut-off. The drawing this weekend will take place 9:59 tonight at the International Finals Rodeo at State Fair Park.

Our predictions are the Powerball will be a big hit once the first Oklahoman wins. The odds of that happening are slim but still we'd love to see one of our neighbors win. When that happens, the lines at the checkout counters will form early and often.

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