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Lottery jackpots total more than $1.5 billion

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Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 18, 2023

It could be life-changing money and it’s still up for grabs as both the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots skyrocket.
Nobody hit all six numbers in Monday night's Powerball lottery drawing so it’s projected to reach $1 billion.

The next Mega Millions drawing takes place Tuesday night and is up to $640 million.

“I'm playing Mega Millions right now. I do plan on playing in hopes of getting rich," said local resident Tommy Russo.

“I'm thinking about it. It's pretty high. At least got to put a few bucks in there, you know?" said Atascadero resident Jayson Cabrao.

 At $2 per ticket, sales for both lottery games are peaking at local gas stations.

“Even at our slow store, we're doing over $1,000 a day. Yesterday, coming in and checking in, I think the total was somewhere around $2,000 in purchases," said Shell gas station employee Dylan Burgess.

And everyone is hoping they'll have the golden ticket.

“My dad used to play, so I guess I got that from him. I play usually when it gets pretty high. That's usually when I want to play. You got all these dreams and stuff," Cabrao added.

“I'm a business owner and I work really hard every day and I have three children so whatever I got to do to provide for my kids and family," Russo said.

Mega Millions is offering one of its 10 largest jackpots ever this week.

“The money from the revenue generated by California Lottery ticket sales goes to the prizes, right? That's how we fund these giant jackpots with our other state partner lotteries. But the second biggest bucket and again, it's the whole reason voters created the California Lottery back in the 80s, is to raise money for public education," said Carolyn Becker, California Lottery spokesperson.

Becker says roughly 80 cents of every Powerball or Mega Million ticket sold goes toward public school funding, including sports, equipment, and textbooks.

Although the big one may be hard to win, Becker added the chances of winning smaller prizes are actually much higher.

“The advertised jackpot for Mega Millions and Powerball is what's projected based on what we're seeing in terms of sales, lump sum. For both jackpots right now, the cash value or the lump sum is about half of what the advertised jackpot would be," Becker explained.

Mega Millions draws Tuesday tonight and if there’s no winner, the next drawing will be on Friday.

Powerball draws three times a week — every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Your chance of winning the jackpot is one in 292 million.