Mega Millions

Betty Gaitros prints off Mega Millions lotto tickets on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at the County Market Express on North Sixth Street. With an estimated jackpot of $750 million, the drawing was Friday evening.

QUINCY — Area residents will have two shots at lottery jackpots this weekend, with a combined $1.4 billion on the line.

Both Illinois and Missouri are participating states in the Mega Millions lottery, as well as the Powerball game. The Mega Millions drawing set for Friday was estimated early in the day at $750 million, while Saturday’s Powerball drawing could be worth $640 million or more.

“I would probably build a big house,” customer Megan H. said as she was buying tickets (she requested her last name not be included). “And probably a long family vacation.”

It’s been close to two years since any jackpot has reached these levels.

Neither the Powerball nor the Mega Millions has had a winner in several months.

Lines were long at area convenience stores and other sellers as the Friday night drawing drew closer. Those buying tickets are competing against those doing the same in 43 other states and the District of Columbia.

Angie West, a Washington state resident with family ties in Quincy, said that she rarely buys tickets unless the chance comes up to win these large jackpots.

“I’d like to buy a big piece of land and build homes for all my kids,” West said. “I’d help them start their own businesses and then I’d buy an RV to take my mom and my grandkids and go visit every state.”

“And maybe a nice oceanfront getaway,” she added.

The odds of winning either game run roughly 1 in 300 million.

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