Large lottery jackpots help generate funds for education in Ohio

In 2020, $1.16 billion was transferred to the Lottery Profits Education Fund

(WKBN) – The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots continue climbing to levels where even the dreaming gets foggy — $750 million Friday night for the Mega Millions and $640 million for Saturday’s Powerball.

It has been an exciting week for both jackpots.

“We’re talking over $1.3 billion worth of jackpots in the next couple of days so it’s really exciting,” said Danielle Frizzi-Babb, communications director for the Ohio Lottery.

Frizzi-Babb says in 2019, the Ohio Lottery Commission made more than $3 billion, averaging $290 million a month.

In 2020, because of the pandemic, sales fluctuated, but the year ended with sales ahead of the previous year, which allowed them to transfer $1.16 billion to the Lottery Profits Education Fund.

“I think it’s been a very uncertain year for a lot of people and maybe picking up a ticket was something that was fun and entertaining during a time where many of us were stuck and couldn’t go places,” Frizzi-Babb said.

Unlike surrounding states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, online lottery sales aren’t available in Ohio.

“But we are always looking for better ways to serve our customers and that’s a conversation we will continue to have with the general assembly and the administration to talk about more ways to generate profit for education,” Frizzi-Babb said.

She wants to remind those playing to continue wearing masks and social distance when purchasing tickets.

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