Texans Line Up For Mega Millions Tickets, But Incentive For Stores Is Gone

Alan Scaia
October 19, 2018 - 9:00 am
Mega Millions

Credit: J.Burkett Photo

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - The Mega Millions jackpot Friday night will be $970 million, the biggest in its history. Only a Powerball jackpot in 2016 was larger, reaching $1.6 billion.

At a convenience store in Fort Worth, people were lining up to buy tickets.

"I would give a lot to charity, donate to my church," one woman said. Another said, "If we win, we don't go to work tomorrow. For sure. I'd just want to make sure my kids are okay, education's paid for."

On September 1, Texas stopped giving stores an incentive when they sell a winning ticket.

"Those decisions made by those senators in Austin, they're saying they want that extra money for the state," said the manager of a convenience store in Dallas. "We are kind of upset, but we'll still sell lottery tickets."

The state had budgeted $4.2 million for the incentives. Governor Greg Abbott removed the incentives from the budget that took effect in September.

"The bonus was created in 1993 to help jumpstart the rollout of the lottery, but the lottery is now well established in the state. I, therefore, object to and disapprove of one year of this appropriation," he wrote in a statement at the time.

Texas still offers incentives based on how many lottery tickets a store sells. The Texas Lottery says stores can still earn free scratch-off tickets and incentive payments from other programs.

"However, the loss of this key program may have an impact on retailer recruitment, retention and development opportunities," the lottery said in a statement.​