Half a billion dollars and then some.
It’s a nearly unfathomable sum of money. And, anyone who came into such a huge amount would be worth as much, if not more, than many of today’s A-list celebrities, including Madonna and Justin Bieber.
Of course, the odds of winnng the record $540 million Mega Millions jackpot are infinitesimal — roughly one in 175 million, to be more precise.
But, that hasn’t stopped area residents from flocking to lottery retailers to purchase tickets for their shot at riches beyond their wildest dreams.
Merchants say the record jackpot has led to a massive jump in lottery ticket sales.
“We’ve seen a pretty good jump,” said Dadym Vadym, an employee of Ken’s Express Mart on 29th Street. “We’ve gone from selling about 100 Mega Millions ticket day to 300 or 400 a day.”
The increased ticket sales have led an increase in business overall, Vadym said, because people who come into the store to purchase lottery tickets generally buy other items while they’re there.
At First Stop, located on Winchester Avenue at the foot of Ashland’s twin bridges, lottery ticket sales have gone up “quite a bit” as a result of the Mega Millions jackpot, store employee Dana Spears said.
Spears said she and her co-workers at First Stop had done their part by making sure customers were aware of the massive prize and asking them if they’ve purchased their chances yet.
One thing the jackpot hasn’t done is create a noticeable increase in the number of out-of-state customers because Mega Millions tickets also are sold in Ohio and West Virginia, Spears said.
The Mega Millions drawing will take place at 11 tonight. Tickets will be sold until 15 minutes before the winning numbers are drawn.
The winner — or winners, as the case may be — would receive $540 million if they chose to have the jackpot doled out in annual payments. The cash option would be $389 million, which is still one of the biggest jackpots ever.
The second-largest Mega Millions prize was for $390 million in 2007. The jackpot was split by two separate winners — a married couple in Woodbine, N.J., and a truck driver in Dalton, Ga. — who each picked the same combination of six winning numbers.
A similar situation happened last year with the third-largest Mega Millions jackpot of $380 million. That prize was split by two winners: a married couple in Ephrata, Wash., and a woman in Rathdrum, Idaho.
KENNETH HART can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2654.
Chances of winning Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 175 million
Half a billion dollars and then some.
- Local News
Olive Hill votes wet
With more than 400 ballots cast and counted Tuesday, voters in the small Carter County city of Olive Hill officially approved legal alcohol sales there by a wide margin.
Democratic House leaders release budget
Democratic House leaders unveiled their 2014-2016 state budget Tuesday amid complaints from Republicans that it was hatched in the dark and lawmakers were asked to vote on it without sufficient time to study it.
UPDATE: Towboat workers exposed to toxic chemical
Three towboat workers were taken off a vessel at Catlettsburg and rushed to a local hospital Tuesday after suffering effects from exposure to chemical vapors.
3 indicted in horse shootings
A Boyd County grand jury has indicted three in connection with the shootings of several horses earlier this year.
Government requests imposition of sentences in motorcycle theft ring case
Federal prosecutors have filed a motion requesting that two Ashland men convicted nearly a year ago in a case involving an interstate motorcycle theft ring be sentenced “without further delay.”
Ashland man charged with violating graves
An Ashland man has been charged with grave violation for allegedly stealing brass flower vases from graves in Rose Hill Cemetery, destroying them and selling them for scrap.
Options for Russell zip code change
Seven families living on a short stretch of McCown Street have at least a couple options after the U.S. Postal Service changes their zip code and starts delivering their mail from the Flatwoods post office.
Big Sandy Idol ends with tie — winners crowned
The competition was so great, there couldn’t be one winner of the Big Sandy Idol regional competition.
Local woman’s cookbook No. 1 in South on Kindle
Rebecca Revely never considered herself an author, but her cookbook, “Cooking with Mom,” has started out with a bang on Kindle.
The 33-year-old mother of three self-published the book on March 8, and as of Monday morning it was the No. 1 bestseller in American South Cooking.
Woman reports husband threatened her with gun
A woman living in the 2500 block of Hackworth Street on Friday reported her husband grabbed her by the hair, pointed a pistol at her face and made threats against her life because he was upset over the couple’s pending divorce.
- More Local News Headlines
- Olive Hill votes wet