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Kentucky lottery sales at all-time high as Powerball, Mega Millions set new records

Even if you don't become a millionaire, you will help future college students in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Winning lottery numbers for the January 19, Mega Millions drawing are: 10-19-26-50-28  Mega Ball 16

Your chances of winning the lottery are close to 1 in 300 million, but if you do win, you could give each of those 300 million...$2 million. 

Lottery sales in Kentucky are at an all-time high currently, and Kentucky Lottery Senior VP of Communications Chip Polston said it's not just because of jackpots.

The Mega Millions and Powerball are both setting records across the country, with those massive jackpots running concurrently.

"The fact that these two are running in tandem is pretty remarkable," Polston said. "This all got set up back in September."

Both games had jackpot winners within 24 hours of each other back in the fall, but there hasn't been a winner for either since.

"There have been 36 drawings for each game, 36 a piece, where no one has won the jack pot for those drawings," Polston said. "That's the longest run for either one of those games in the history of the games, and that's how we've gotten to those big numbers where we are right now."

Throughout the pandemic, closures of malls, casinos, and movie theatres contributed to what Polston calls record sales.

"Because we were being sold by what were considered essential retailers, grocery stores, gas stations, they were still able to buy tickets," Polston said. "Because there wasn't a whole lot going on and people were looking for escapism and excitement, we started to see a lot more people play."

When the lottery does well, so do Kentuckians. While the majority of every dollar spent on a ticket does go to the winner, 25% goes to KEES scholarships for college students.

"We're always proud of what we're able to do with those college scholarship and grant programs," Polston said. "But because our sales are so strong, especially now when we know they're so needed, were really proud to be able to help fill that need."

The Mega Millions draws Tuesday evening and the Powerball on Wednesday night.

RELATED: $1.6 billion total at stake in Mega Millions, Powerball this week

RELATED: Winning the lottery or getting struck by lightning: which has better odds?

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