NewsCovering Kentucky


Dreaming big: Mega Millions jackpot soars to $1 billion

Posted at 3:09 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 18:43:05-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Mega Millions lottery hasn’t had a jackpot winner since September. As each jackpot since that time has carried over to the next drawing its value has ballooned. Now it stands at an estimated $1 billion in advance of Friday’s drawing, according to officials from the Kentucky Lottery.

“Somebody will win this, though. That’s the thing to keep in mind. Somebody, somewhere, eventually is going to win this jackpot,” said Chip Polston from his Kentucky Lottery office in Louisville.

Ticket buyers LEX 18 spoke with are all dreaming of the same things: elaborate vacations, paying off debt, donating to charity and maybe even quitting that job. The ticket purchase allows you to gain entry into the dream, even as the odds of winning remain very slim.

“…Keep the odds of it in perspective for you,” Polston said. “The odds of it being you are very long, but for a couple of bucks you’re in the game and you can think of all the great things you’ll say to your boss on Monday morning!”

We’d highly recommend double and triple checking the ticket before you do that.

The big jackpot also represents a bit of a rebound for the lottery industry itself, which naturally took a hit during the initial months of the pandemic.

“We’d never been in a situation like this. We didn’t know things were going to come together with this. But as people started to venture out and going to essential retailers, going to the grocery, they started to rediscover our products. People were looking for a form of entertainment and there just wasn’t a whole lot they could do at that point,” Polston explained of the time when we were on lockdown to prevent spread of the virus.

Polston said they didn’t feel right about advertising lottery games, as so many were struggling (and many still are) to make ends meet. They even pulled many of the games that require people to stand and gather in one relatively small area.

No need for that when purchasing the Mega Millions ticket. It’s essentially a ticket into a dream. For someone, it’ll be a one-way ticket.