UPDATE [11 p.m.]: Friday night’s winning Mega Millions numbers were 65, 53, 23, 15 and 70 with the MegaBall being 7.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Mega Millions jackpot, which has rolled over 26 times since July 27, jumped from $970 million to a record $1 billion ahead of Friday night’s historic drawing.
Georgia Lottery Corp. president and CEO Gretchen Corbin announced the news just before noon at a modified Mega Millions billboard on Central Avenue in southwest Atlanta. The ‘M’ in ‘Million’ was replaced with a ‘B.’
“We are serious about education,” she said. “We are celebrating our 25th year, and we have $19.8 billion that has been returned to the students of Georgia because of the great excitement and great dedication of our Georgia Lottery players.”
Shortly after the Mega Millions announcement, the Powerball jackpot also rose, with a new prize of $470 million. It has rolled over 20 times since Aug. 15.
The hefty jackpots are luring all types of people to stores, kiosks and online to buy lottery tickets.
“I want to take my chances winning this billion dollars like everybody else,” Jerry Floyd of Fayetteville said as he waited in line at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to purchase his ticket.
Atlanta resident Delaine Ross said she “never” plays the lottery, but decided to take the plunge Friday before flying out of the airport.
If she wins the big prize, she said she would invest the money and “live off the interest.”
Floyd has extensive plans, including setting up a college fund for young relatives.
“I’m going to pay off my house that I live in now and buy another house,” he said. “I have a lot of nephews and nieces, six sisters, and I’ll make sure everybody has a secure future.”
But most of all, Floyd said, “I want to live the life like other millionaires, billionaires.”
Friday’s drawing can be viewed at 11 p.m. right before Channel 2 Action News Nightbeat. Tickets can be purchased until 10:45 p.m.
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