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Idaho Residents Have Big Plans For Huge Mega Millions Jackpot

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Matt Guilhem
/
Boise State Public Radio

With the Mega Millions jackpot projected to be $1.6 billion, lottery fever is sweeping the nation with hundreds of tickets being printed every second in some states. Idaho isn’t immune from the contagion. We spoke to some people buying tickets around Boise about their lotto plans.

If Leona Rhodes hits all the winning numbers in the drawing for $1.6 billion, she says she’d help her family. She’d also have a little fun.

“Yeah, I would travel the world,” Rhodes says. “See everything that I’ll never ever get to see if I didn’t win. I’m pretty excited. And if you don’t play, you can’t win, so, you gotta try, right?”

Rhodes says what many people stopping for a ticket are thinking: The prize in tonight’s Mega Millions drawing is now the nation’s highest lottery prize on record. The pot has been growing since July as jackpots continue to rollover and build.

Abby Gerke is buying a ticket at a gas station near the heart of downtown Boise. She’s not too optimistic about a return on her $2 investment.

“I’m probably wasting it, but that’s okay,” Gerke says.

She laughs off the staggering odds against her – 1 in over 300 million – but she’s got a solid plan of what she’d do with her winnings.

“I’d probably go directly to a financial advisor and then go from there,” she says. “I don’t want to be like those lottery winners that just go bankrupt.”

Clerks at gas stations say extra help is brought in when jackpots get this astronomical and that rush hour is when lines are the longest.

Jason Hubler is a cashier at a station in Boise’s North End. He takes a cavalier approach to the lottery.

“Yeah, if you’re ever going to piss away $2, it might as well be after $1.6 billion,” he says chuckling.

Tonight’s Mega Millions drawing is at 9 p.m. MDT.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

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