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Who wins and who loses? What to know about the Mega Millions lottery drawing

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is more than $1 billion dollars, only the fourth time a lottery game has been so high.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Could your life change Friday night?

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is more than $1 billion dollars, only the fourth time a lottery game has been so high.

On Tuesday the Mega Millions website was busier than it has ever been, according to the lottery. It crashed temporarily because so many people were on it to check if they had a winning ticket. 

Florida is not a state known for winning, having only had one Mega Millions jackpot winner since 2016. California has had six jackpot winners during that time, followed by New York and New Jersey.

When you buy a lottery ticket, a portion of the money goes to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, which the Florida Department of Education distributes to the public education system. The legislature decides how the money will be allocated. The Bright Futures Scholarship Program is primarily funded by the Florida Lottery.

Critics are quick to point out lottery funds have replaced state funding for education instead of adding to it. An investigation by the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland finds lotteries disproportionately benefit college students and wealthier school districts. 

The investigation also finds a disproportionate number of stores that sell lottery tickets are in low-income areas.

A ticket costs $2 and the drawing is Friday at 11 p.m.

Starting at 6 a.m. Friday, 99.9 Gator Country is giving away 200 Mega Millions tickets to the first 200 people to come through the radio station parking lot. They are located at 6440 Atlantic Boulevard.

On Thursday a lucky winner at Grand Central Station on Merrill Road won $1,000 a week for life.

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