With Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot totaling a record-breaking $640 million dollars, three lucky individuals holding winning tickets were not the only ones to wake up richer on Saturday morning. Along with several people who matched some, but not all, of the winning numbers, lottery retailers, state governments, and local news stations, profited from heightened ticket sales and increased publicity. According to reliable news sources, approximately 50% of Mega Millions sales are funneled back into prize payouts, while 35% land up in state coffers, and 15% finds itself in the hands of retailers who are responsible for ticket sales and lottery operating costs.
Although some states require winners to come forward publicly, others allow winners to maintain anonymity after claiming their prize. Typically, the store(s) which sold the winning ticket(s) announce themselves soon after the drawing to claim a large bonus prize and generate buzz for their establishment among local citizens.
In small town Red Bud, Illinois, speculation is growing about whether a resident of the town’s population of 3,700 or a mere passerby may have bought the winning ticket at the Motomart. The convenience store will receive $500,000 for selling a winning ticket, and an Illinois lottery official visited the site this morning to sign an oversized mock check for $213,333,333 to congratulate the business for selling the winning ticket. The store has already begun stocking promotional t-shirts emblazoned with, “Motomart… Red Bud, IL… Sold the Largest Jackpot Winning Ticket Ever!”
In Baltimore, Maryland, awe-struck locals are flocking into a 7-11 where a jackpot winner purchased another winning ticket. The 7-11 is slated to receive $100,000 for selling a winning ticket. The establishment from which the third jackpot winner bought his or her ticket in Kansas has yet to be announced, but the store stands to gain $10,000 because of its ties to a jackpot winner.
The identities of the three jackpot winners have yet to be named, but the money brought in by ticket sales will benefit educational programs, local aid efforts, wildlife protection and conservation programs, and programs designed to support public service professionals, to name a few of the causes specified by individual states.