Mega Millions $1.6 billion jackpot to have positive impact on older Pennsylvanians

LOWER SWATARA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. - Ticket after ticket. People across Central Pennsylvania are lining up to get their hands on a Mega Millions ticket. With the highest jackpot in Mega Millions history are $1.6 billion, your chance of winning that jackpot is one in 302 million.

As of noon Tuesday, 9,000 Mega Millions tickets were being sold in the state per minute. Roughly a quarter of those sales will go to the 52 area agencies on aging in the state.

"Those funds are used for transportation, senior centers, for just about any service that are being delivered to older adults," said Robert Burns, Dauphin County Area Agency on Aging Executive Director. "The money is coming through the lottery."

The Dauphin County Area Agency on Aging gets about $4 million a year from the Pennsylvania Lottery. Without it, they wouldn't be able to provide the services they do every year. When big jackpots, like Tuesday's $1.6 billion price bring in higher ticket sales than normal, the agency won't see that money immediately.

"It'll be a couple of years down the road. We have multi-year agreements with the state that dictates how much money we're going to get each year," said Burns. "So this money will benefit us in the future. Not necessarily immediately but non-the-less it gives us some sense of security that funding is still going to be steady."

While the Pennsylvania Lottery is urging everyone to play responsibly, they say you can do so knowing that some of that money you hand over for a chance to become a billionaire will go to a good cause.

"People can have fun playing these jackpots," said Jeff Johnson, Pennsylvania Lottery. "But its good to know that money if going to help seniors are the end of the day."

If no one wins Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot, the Pennsylvania Lottery is estimating Friday's drawing will surpass the $2 billion mark.