ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The odds of winning $1.28 billion in tonight’s Mega Millions drawing are one-in-302 million, but that’s not stopping people in the Rockford area from spending $2 on a chance to win it all.
But, what would they do with all that money?
Tlcky Kirby, who works at a Rockford Citgo Gas Station, says she doesn’t usually play the lottery, but said with the jackpot being so high, she had to give it a shot.
“A lot of people who normally who don’t even play, they have played the Mega today, even if they didn’t know what they were doing,” Kirby said. “They just had the machine pick a quick pick.”
Kirby says if she wins, she would give some of the winnings to her family and help out the community.
“Businesses that has been struggling, you know, because of COVID, helping, you know, some of the children,” she said. “It’s getting ready for school is going to start, so, you know, with school supplies and backpacks and going to the shelters and donating money.”
Other people, like Lloyd Johnson, said he plays the lotto as often as he can, sometimes twice a day.
“Every now and then, I get lucky,” he said. “So [I’m] hoping I get blessed with this money tonight.”
Johson also said he would be charitable with the money, saying he would give back to area youth programs.
Kevin Brooks, a self-proclaimed animal lover, said he would donate to animal charities and “share it with my family put it to some charities and invest the rest, I guess.”
Jonathan Howard Macklin said he plays here and there, but he couldn’t miss out on a chance for a billion dollars.
“I dib and dab but my wife plays a lot, and I know she is going to bring home all that money,” he said.
Under lottery rules, a store that sells the winning ticket for a Mega Millions jackpot gets a $50,000 incentive payment, but the prize money goes to the winner.
Kirby says it only takes one lucky ticket: “I would be really happy if I sold someone a winning ticket. We have a lot of great people that come here, great customers. [I’m] quite sure everybody can use that extra money and use that blessing.”
The $1.28 billion jackpot has a cash value of $747.2 million.
The only Mega Millions jackpot bigger than the current one was awarded on Oct. 2018, when a single winner — who purchased the ticket in South Carolina — claimed a $1.537 billion prize.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states along with Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.