The odds of winning are one in more than 135 million but that's not stopping people in Lubbock from trying their luck at $44 million in spending money just in time for Christmas. "Mega Millions" is the newest lotto excitement to hit Texas.
So far, the game seems like it's going to be popular. Apparently it's just something about that $44 million jackpot. Norma Mojica, a Mega Millions player, says, "It's exciting, especially right now with the holidays and all."
Robert Ramirez owns King's Food & Gas, Lubbock's number one lotto selling store. He thinks "Mega Millions will be a hit. Ramirez says, "It (the jackpot) was $33 million yesterday so it rolled to $44 million so you can see the jackpot will probably roll bigger than the Texas Lotto."
Texas Lottery officials estimate sales of Mega Millions tickets will eat up around 21% of existing Lotto Texas sales. However they remain committed to Lotto Texas and will monitor ticket sales closely.
One thing that may keep the game going it's better odds. The chance of winning Mega Millions is three times worse than Texas Lotto. However, Ramirez doesn't think it will make a difference. He explains, "I don't think the odds matter. I just think they want to win and they want their name in the hat with a jackpot that big." Mega Millions player, Freddie Martinez agrees. He says, "The 44 million makes up for the chances of winning." Good odds or bad, everyone who buys a Mega Millions ticket already has plans for the money. Ramirez says he'd share the wealth. "We'd close for several days and take everyone on a big long vacation."
You can get your chance at the Mega Millions jackpot for only a dollar per ticket. If you pay an extra dollar you can pick a "megaplier" number. That allows you to double, triple, or quadruple any prize money, with the exception of the actual jackpot.
About 30 cents of every dollar spent on Mega Millions goes to the Foundation School Fund, just like other Texas lottery sales.