CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois schools were also big winners in last week’s record Mega Millions game, hauling in more than $30 million as a result of record Lottery sales.
Illinois saw record lottery sales over the past few weeks, largely due to the Mega Millions game, when the jackpot rolled over several times after there were no winners in several consecutive games, until the jackpot grew to a record $656 million for Friday’s game.
The record sales made a big winner of Illinois schools, as the past nine weeks of Illinois Lottery sales also generated $31.5 million for the state’s Common Schools Fund.
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Since 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed more than $17 billion to the Common School Fund, to assist public elementary schools and public high schools.
Illinois did get one of the three winners in Friday’s big game — a ticket that was sold in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis. That winner will collect about $219 million, after the record jackpot is split three ways. Winning tickets were also sold in Maryland and Kansas.
At least 11 others matched five numbers in Mega Millions and stand to collect $250,000 each. One of those 11 second place winners opted for the Megaplier feature of the game, meaning he or she will rake in $1 million.
“This has been an incredible week for the Illinois Lottery and the people of our state,” said Michael Jones, Superintendent of the Illinois Lottery. “Our jackpot winner from Red Bud, a wonderful town in southern Illinois, along with thousands of other lottery winners across the state proves that if you believe it can happen…it might. Everyone who played Mega Millions not only made history by playing for the largest lottery prize in the history of the planet, but contributed to the common good in our state.”
Lottery retailers also earned $3.7 million in commissions from Mega Millions sales during the latest roll-up. The MotoMart convenience store in Red Bud, where the winning ticket in Illinois was sold, will collect a $500,000 bonus.