Bid for all Wash. liquor stores tops $4.5 million

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- An online public auction of Washington's state-run liquor stores ends Friday, but the winners won't be announced until Monday.

Voters approved an initiative last year kicking the state out of a booze industry it has tightly controlled since the end of Prohibition. The measure allows stores larger than 10,000 square feet to sell liquor and requires the state to stop selling liquor.

The state opened a public auction of its 167 state-run stores on March 8. Since then, hundreds of bids have been made, including a top bid of more than $4.5 million for all of the stores.