OUR VIEW: Lottery has everyone dreaming again

Published 11:30 am Thursday, January 12, 2023

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We’ve probably all dreamed of the moment where we suddenly became a millionaire or billionaire. 

Get-rich-quick schemes, a never-before-seen uncle who dies and leaves the family an unexpected wealth, winning a game show — everyone has dreamed of suddenly coming into a lot of money and being able to retire. The Georgia Lottery gives us all a chance to dream big, and right now, many of us are.

No one won the $1.1 billion Mega Millions drawing Tuesday night, meaning all of us are back at work today, again dreaming of what that might feel like. We’ve been here several times in recent memory. In October, Powerball had reached $1.6 billion, the largest jackpot in lottery history. Mega Millions is estimated to get to just under $1.4 billion before the next drawing on Friday night.

But, in a fun twist, the next drawing is actually on Friday, the 13th — which some superstitious folks would argue is the unluckiest day.

“While many consider Friday the 13th an unlucky day, it has been rewarding for Mega Millions players over the years, with six previous jackpots won on such a day. There’s a chance for another this Friday, and it’s a big one!” the lottery said in a news release early Wednesday.

In October, Gretchin Corbin, president of the Georgia Lottery, spoke at the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce Early Bird Breakfast and discussed how the lottery has impacted Troup County.

Since its inception, Troup County players had been paid $785,339,270 in prizes, while retailer commissions in the county accumulated $92,439,162. The total sales of lottery tickets reached $1,476,022,178. The total returned to the county was $1,021,916,798. Those numbers are all as of October, when Corbin spoke at Del’avant Event Center.

The impact is also seen in convenience stores right over the Georgia state line in West Point, as people flock over from Alabama to get their tickets. Hopefully, those individuals will also buy some gas and a meal before they head back over the state line, as those tax dollars would stay right here in Troup County. 

We’re sure Friday will be extremely busy.

And while we know many of you will buy tickets, we also recommend not dreaming too big yet. 

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot is 1 in 302 million. To put that in perspective, the odds of getting struck by lightning in your lifetime is 1 in 15,300. The odds of dying in a plane crash are about 1 in 11 million, according to several reports. The odds of being killed by a shark is 1 in 3.7 million.

You get the point. You have better odds of getting struck by lightning, dying in a plane crash and getting attacked by a shark than you do of winning the Mega Millions drawing. (Odds may even be better of being struck by lightning while being bitten by a shark on a crashing plane.)

To everyone buying a ticket, we wish you luck.