Mega Millions jackpot hits $1billion as boss buys tickets for 50,000 workers

As the Mega Millions jackpot continues to grow, topping $1billion for the third time in the game’s history, a popular restaurant founder hopes his employees may be the lucky winners.

Raising Canes Founder Todd Graves bought 50,000 Mega Millions tickets on Monday — one for each of the 50,000 people employed at the fast food chain.

That was before the prize jumped from $810million on Tuesday to a whopping $1.02billion on Wednesday after no one matched all six numbers on their ticket.

‘Buying 50,000 lottery tickets is harder than you think!’ Graves wrote on Twitter. ‘Hoping to share the winning jackpot with our 50,000 @RaisingCanes Crew.’

Graves spent $100,000 in total purchasing the 50,000 tickets, which sell for $2 a piece.

The company’s CEO AJ Kumaran confirmed on Fox & Friends that 50,000 tickets had been purchased to hopefully spread the wealth among employees.

‘It’s not a joke,’ Kumaran said. ‘We’ve been around for 25 years now. We’ve always believed in staying together as a family, taking care of each other, everything.’

If any of the tickets Graves bought end up being lucky, the money will be split among all of the staff.

‘Things are hard out there,’ Kumaran added. ‘People are seeing it in their grocery shelves, their gas stations. So when the jackpot came to this big, large number, we wanted to do this.’

Kumaran said that they had to go to two different gas stations to get all of the tickets printed. Since each ticket is printed individually and they had to take out cash to purchase the tickets, the whole process took between seven and eight hours.

The Mega Millions jackpot will be drawn on Friday, and is believed to be the third largest prize in the game’s history.

‘That’s how we do business, that’s how we live,’ Kumaran said. ‘What all we win, we share it equally amongst all of us.’

Despite the chain’s best efforts, the odds of winning the jackpot are one in 303 million, Mega Millions said in a statement.

The largest-ever drawing for the Mega Millions jackpot was in 2018 at a whopping $1.537 billion. The winning ticket in that game was purchased in South Carolina. The second largest was $1.050 won in Michigan in 2021.

Mega Millions is a lottery game offered in 45 states, DC and the US Virgin Islands.

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