Huge Jackpot Means Dreams For Players, Real Payouts For Minn.

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Everybody knows it’s the longest of long shots, but that doesn’t stop lottery ticket holders from dreaming of what they would do with a $640 million jackpot.

Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing is the richest jackpot in world history.

Minnesota is one of 44 states that participate in Mega Millions, and the state will sure benefit. For every $1 ticket sold in Minnesota, the state gets 24 cents.

“Of that money, 40 percent of it goes to the environmental trust fund and the remainder goes to the state general fund,” said Ed Van Petten, director of the Minnesota State Lottery. “So certainly there is a lot of benefit to the State of Minnesota.”

Van Petten estimates that there’s been well over $5 million in Mega Million ticket sales in Minnesota ahead of tonight’s drawing. There was more than $500,000 in sales Friday morning alone, Van Petten said.

And a Minnesota winner would mean a win for Minnesota.

“Hopefully we will have a jackpot winner here, and then the state would reap the benefits of a lot of income tax,” Van Petten said. “Probably about $35 million.”

As of 11 a.m., the jackpot was bumped up to $640 million. Ticket sales end at 9 p.m.

State Lottery Director Ed Van Petten talked with Newsradio 830 WCCO’s John Hines.

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