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Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1 billion

Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1 billion
Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1 billion
Posted at 5:06 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 17:06:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Hopeful players are buying lottery tickets at a brisk pace, with Friday's Mega Millions jackpot estimated now at $1 billion. 

The estimated jackpot is the largest ever for the Mega Millions game and the second largest lottery jackpot of all time.

According to the Florida Lottery, at peak times Thursday, 14,000 tickets were being sold per minute.

The Lottery expects the pace of sales to be three times that amount on Friday, as the 11:00 p.m. drawing nears.

"We can't plan on this. We have to create our yearly plan with the other products that we sell day in and day out," said Mike Purcell, Deputy Secretary of Sales for the Florida Lottery. "But, when this happens, it is a big benefit to education."  

Purcell says the current series of draws for this Mega Millions jackpot has raised $34 million for Florida's Educational Enhancement Trust Fund.

Tickets for Mega Millions cost $2 each, and sales for Friday's drawing will end at 10:00 p.m. eastern time.