SALEM, Ore. – All around the Northwest, people are lining up at convenience stores and gas stations with dreams of a big-time payday. The multi-state MegaMillions lottery jackpot has topped a half-billion dollars. In Salem, Brenda McDonald bought three tickets at a downtown grocery store. She's already thought about what she'd do if she won.
McDonald: "I would invest it at first and see what I need to do. And then disconnect my number. And then I would help people and help organizations too."
Lottery agencies in Oregon, Washington and Idaho are reporting brisk sales in the run-up to Friday night's drawing. States get to keep half of the money their residents spend on MegaMillions tickets. A Washington Lottery spokesman calls the high-profile jackpot a "huge boost" to the education programs that are funded through the state's lottery. But lottery officials in all three states note that ticket sales tend to fall dramatically in the weeks after a large jackpot is awarded.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network