I was looking at the prizes and odds, and noticed something odd: California, even though they are playing the same game, awards different prizes. Check this out:
|Match||win||win in California|
|5 numbers and powerball||$203 million||$203 million|
|5 numbers||$2 million||$212,409|
|4 numbers and powerball||$50,000||$9,062|
|3 numbers and powerball||$100||$197|
|2 numbers and powerball||$7||$8|
|one number and powerball||$4||$5|
As you can see, the prize structure takes money from the larger winners and redistributes them to the smaller winners. Matching 5 numbers without the powerball, or 4 numbers with the powerball in California means that 85% to 95% of your winnings will be confiscated (by the time you pay taxes) and the majority of that money will be given to the "less fortunate" people who matched fewer numbers.
It's a metaphor for the entire state.