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Big Jackpots Could Add Luck to Weekend Festivities ' Mega Millions at $415 Million Tonight; Powerball at $243 Million Saturday

BOISE, Idaho ÔÇô Hot dogs on the grill, fireworks, and homemade apple pie aren't the only thing heating up this weekend's Fourth of July festivities. The Mega Millions jackpot is now an estimated $415 million for tonight's draw and the Powerball jackpot is an estimated $243 million for Saturday night. As Idahoan's prepare to celebrate the nation's birthday over the long-holiday weekend, the Idaho Lottery wants to remind everyone who participates in these games to do so responsibly.

"We are encouraging all our players to have a safe Fourth of July weekend while keeping in mind it does only take one ticket to win," said Idaho Lottery Director, Jeff Anderson. "Play what you can afford, don't go overboard."

The Mega Millions jackpot is now the third largest in this game's history and the tenth largest in United States history. Last Tuesday's Mega Millions draw produced 13,508 winning tickets in Idaho while Powerball had 5,209 winning tickets in Wednesday night's draw. Combined, these games accounted for over $55,000 in prizes just this week.

With an already busy weekend for retailers, as the draws get closer, some retail locations may experience even higher than normal volumes of player traffic. Players are advised to plan ahead as there may be lines to purchase tickets.

"When jackpots reach these levels, the number of players in the game expands, with many players joining together and buying tickets for their chance to become the next Mega Millions or Powerball big winner," added Anderson.

Players have until 7:55 p.m. MT on Friday evening to purchase a ticket to participate in this Mega Millions draw, and the same time on Saturday evening for the Powerball draw.

The Idaho Lottery also recommends players sign the back of their tickets and keep them in a safe place until claiming their prize.

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The Idaho Lottery responsibly provides a variety of entertaining games featuring Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch GamesTM, and PullTabs with a high degree of integrity to maximize the dividend for Idaho public schools and the permanent building fund. Since their inception in 1989, the Idaho Lottery has sold over $2.95 billion in products, awarded over $1.77 billion in prizes to players, returned more than $172.6 million in retail commissions, and distributed $694.5 million in Lottery dividends to Idaho public schools and the Permanent Building Fund. To learn more, please visit www.idaholottery.com.

CONTACT: David Workman
(208) 334-2600