State Of Illinois Wins Big With Continued Purchases Of Mega Millions Tickets

Nancy Harty
October 23, 2018 - 1:21 pm

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Hours ahead of Tuesday night's drawing for the record $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot, the state is already a winner.

Win or lose, the head of the Illinois Lottery said the state has collected $20 million from Mega Millions ticket sales since this jackpot started growing back in July. That's because the state gets 25 cents on the dollar for every lottery ticket purchased.

"This allows people the chance to dream big, but it also allows them to support the state and support education," said acting Lottery Director Harold Mays.

He said the money goes to schools, special causes that have their own lottery games and capital projects.

Twenty-five drawings without a winner has help boost Mega Millions ticket sales in Illinois, with an increase of 200 percent over last year. But it does appear to be the cost of another game.

"The Powerball sales are lagging behind Mega Millions right now," Mays said.

The Powerball jackpot is up to $620 million for Wednesday night's drawing.