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Store sees increase in lottery players as Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1.1 billion

People hoping to win the Mega Millions are flocking to stores across Kansas City
Posted at 6:25 AM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 08:41:05-04

The Mega Millions jackpot grew overnight to $1.1 billion dollars and people living across the Kansas City area are feeling lucky.

Red X in Riverside saw an influx of people waiting in line Thursday to get their hands on a lottery ticket. Employees said sales have been through the roof and if they were to sell the winning ticket, they are ready for sales to increase even more.

"Everybody's really excited about it," said Red X employee Sara Burdett. "It's kind of a like a rush to get your own ticket, like the golden ticket kind of thing, going on right now."

Customers who were waiting inside to get their ticket said they have a few tricks up their sleeve. Some said they're picking lucky numbers within the family, others are limiting themselves to three tickets or less than $200 on tickets.

"Three tickets, that's it," customer Jesse Contreras said. "I see people buy 20 of them. All you need is one ticket."

Kimberly Neely has gotten lucky before. She won the Missouri Lottery once and has plans already if she wins the Mega Millions jackpot.

"So, I'm gonna get direct deposit, but I'm going straight to the airport," Neely said.

The estimated cash value is $648.2 million. The winner or winners would have to pay state and federal taxes on the award.

There's also an option of choosing to receive the full amount in 30 annuity payments.

"If you're not disciplined, if you can't put things in an investment and leave them there, maybe you're better off with yearly checks," University of Missouri-Kansas City economics professor Larry Wigger said.

He said investing the money won from playing the lottery can lead to a better payout, but it depends on the individual person, which is why acquiring financial and legal help is encouraged.

"Retain legal counsel as soon as possible, protect those rights and to minimize your tax burden," Wigger said. "You want legal advice that has financial and tax accounting expertise."