The record-breaking jackpot has created a problem for lottery billboards. They’re built only for jackpots that max out at $999 million. The $1.4 billion dollar jackpot caused Tennessee Lottery officials to add a “billion” sign to at least on billboard Monday.
Over the last few weeks, the public has been lining up outside of gas stations in record numbers. After no one matched all numbers Saturday evening, the jackpot jumped to record numbers.
“I don't think anybody ever anticipated a jackpot this large,” Lottery President Rebecca Hargrove said. “I was floored when nobody won it Saturday night.”
Back when the Lottery was first started in Tennessee, its promise was to donate a certain percentage of revenue to education in the state.
The state lotto supports three main, educational programs: scholarships, grants and after-school programs.
Nearly 40% of every lottery dollar sold goes to those programs, according to lottery officials. Last week, the organization made nearly $37 million. So roughly $12 million went to the differing programs. That’s four times the average amount during any given week.
“Everybody’s worked hard and education is going to be the beneficiary of that,” Hargrove said.
The Powerball drawing is set for Wednesday night. The jackpot is $1.4 billion.