JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the Mega Millions grand prize now at $660 million -- the game’s third largest jackpot -- the crew at 99.9 Gator Country decided to give some loyal listeners a chance to win big. Really big!
The radio station gave away 99 Mega Millions lottery tickets to the first 99 commuters who pulled through the radio station parking lot Friday morning -- beginning at 9 a.m.
The 99 tickets were all gone by about 10:30 a.m.
Radio personalities Eden and Amadeus, Your Hometown Morning Show, explained to listeners that they “purchased 100 tickets for themselves, but decided that the good karma from giving them away could be more valuable than the tickets themselves.”
They opted to keep only one ticket and distribute the additional 99 to listeners of the country radio morning show on a random, first come-first served basis.
Several folks who stopped by hoping to get lucky with the free tickets had some ideas for what they would do with the winnings:
“Pay off my college debt, my credit card loans and then probably build a sushi bar in my house. It has been a thing for a while. I’ve had that dream since I was a kid,” Chris Fillion said.
“I think I would retire everybody in my family and we would just cruise around the world,” Gwendolyn Flood said.
The jackpot for Friday night’s drawing has grown so large because there hasn’t been a winner in three months. Those 27 consecutive drawings without anyone matching all six numbers have allowed the jackpot to gradually grow from its $20 million starting point in April to the now whopping $660 million.
Only two Mega Millions jackpots have ever been bigger: $1.537 billion won in South Carolina in October 2018, and $1.05 billion in Michigan in January 2001.
Even as the big prize has increased, the odds of winning all that money have remained the same — a staggering one in 302.5 million.
The highlighted pre-tax $660 million prize is for a winner who takes an annuity option, paid out in 30 annual payments. Most players choose the cash option, which for Friday’s drawing would be $376.9 million.
Still, that’s a good chunk of change.