Despite staggering odds, sales of California Lotto tickets Wednesday hit an average rate of 1 million per hour, boosting the estimated jackpot to $120 million - the largest in U.S. history.

"It's like a utility company during a heat wave," lottery spokeswoman Joanne McNabb said of the ticket-buying frenzy.The Lotto's computers showed that ticket purchases totaling nearly $3 million between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. Wednesday, compared with a three-hour total of $600,000 Tuesday, she said.