Local residents can buy $1 chances starting today in the new multistate lottery game called Lotto America, which promoters say will pay a minimum jackpot of $2 million at each weekly drawing. D.C. lottery board officials said tickets will go on sale at 6 a.m. today at 650 city locations.

States participating in the country's second regional jackpot game are Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia. New England states have had a regional game for several years.

Lotto America's first drawing will be held Feb. 13 in Des Moines, according to D.C. lottery spokeswoman Dana Shelley. It will be televised at 10:59 p.m. on WJLA (Channel 7). If there is no winner, the jackpot will increase each week until a maximum of $80 million is reached.

Lottery board Director Bernard Edwards said in a news conference yesterday that he expected the number of people buying tickets in the District to increase.

"We expect those who haven't played before to play now because of the excitement of a such a large jackpot," Edwards said.

Shelley said the board expected the new lottery game to draw from Maryland and Virginia residents who work in the city, and from tourists who visit the District.

Local lottery officials said that while they expect the new game to be a success, it recently suffered what one called a setback because it missed a key chance to expand. Last year Illinois and New York were considering joining Lotto America, which would have made its jackpots much larger.

But New York and Illinois withdrew after a series of snafus.

Instead, officials in those states and Michigan and Ohio have said they are considering formation of a "Great Lakes" multistate lottery. States participating in Lotto America have a population of about 16 million; Great Lakes states have about 49 million.

Staff writer John Mintz contributed to this report.

------------------- LOTTO AMERICA -------------------------------



MATCH -------------------- ODDS ----------------- PRIZE


ALL SEVEN -------- 1:18,643,560 ------------ $2 MILLION

NUMBERS ----------------------- --------------- MINUMUM

SIX OUT -------------- 1:80,708 -------- AVERAGE $2,500

OF SEVEN ---------------------- ------------ PER WINNER

FIVE OUT -------------- 1:1,681 ---------- AVERAGE $100

OF SEVEN ---------------------- ------------ PER WINNER

FOUR OUT ------------------1:98 ---------------------$5



If odds were distance, winning the jackpot would be the same as picking the right inch in 294 miles or the distance from Washington to well past New York. The same ratio would be one inch to the height of 2,797 Washington Monuments.