Mega Millions players' proceeds go towards the state - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mega Millions players' proceeds go towards the state

OWATONNA, Minn. (KTTC) -- There is no doubt that the chance of hitting the jackpot is enough to keep ticket sales through the roof, but customers are also getting their hands on tickets to give back.

At stores across Minnesota, many have caught the Mega Millions fever, and are cashing in for the ultimate dream come true: a chance at fortune.

"Yeah, lot of people coming in buying 20, 30, 50 tickets at a time," says Stephanie Cooklin, who works at Fuel & Food in Owatonna.

With a $636 million jackpot and the second largest Mega Millions pay out ever, it's hard not to justify a buck for luck.

Even with the odds against them.

With one lottery ticket, a buyer had a one in 259 million chance of winning the jackpot. However, for millions of people, it's more than just the money that keeps them playing the game.

Mark Heiling, a regional sales manager at the Minnesota State Lottery, says a little portion of your ticket purchase makes a big difference to the state.

"Actually in the last few years, we've had gradual increases in sales and so our profits back to the state have stayed very strong and we feel very fortunate in that respect," said Heiling. 

From the 21 draws between Oct. 4 and Dec. 13 alone, lottery ticket sales have raised $2.1 million for the state.

With $1.2 million going towards the General Fund, and over $900,000 to benefit Minnesota's natural environments.

So, as you walk up to the cashier and make that purchase to see if luck is on your side, know that part of that gamble is going back to our "Land of 10,000 Lakes."

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