This Founder Bought a Lottery Ticket for the $810 Million Mega Millions Jackpot For 50,000 of His Employees

·3 min read

The founder of the fast-food chain Raising Cane's has bought a $2 Mega Millions national lottery ticket for each of his 50,000 employees—the day before the potential jackpot rose to $810 million, with a $489.9 million cash option. 

"As soon as we heard how big this jackpot prize is, we couldn't miss out on the chance to win the Mega Millions jackpot and share it with our crew who always stand together," founder Todd Graves said Monday in a press release. "None of what we do at Cane's would be possible without our crew, which is why we are always looking for ways to bring them a little extra fun, and if we're lucky, a surprise on Wednesday morning."

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Personal Morale Boosters

"Times are tough out there," Raising Cane's CEO AJ Kumaran told CNN. "(Employees are) seeing it at their gas stations and gas pumps, they're seeing it on their grocery shelves … Things aren't exactly easy these days, so when we saw there is a chance to not only have a little fun, but maybe win a little bit extra money for our people, we wanted to do it."

Raising Cane's specialty is chicken fingers, and the chain has 700 locations in 35 states and Guam.

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Prize Would Be Split, and Chain Plans to Keep Playing

"Buying 50,000 lottery tickets is harder than you think!" Graves tweeted Monday night. "Hoping to share the winning jackpot with our 50,000 @RaisingCanes Crew."

Kumaran said that if any of the 50,000 tickets produced a winner, the prize would be evenly distributed among all the employees. He called it a "collective ticket for everybody." Kumaran said that if Tuesday night's drawing didn't result in a winner, chain officials would play again. "If there is no winner, we're going to buy until there is a winner," he told CNN.

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What Were Tuesday's Winning Mega Millions Numbers?

For the record: the winning numbers for Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing were 07, 29, 60, 63, 66, with the golden "mega ball" 15.

Early Wednesday morning, WHIO-TV reported that no one matched all six numbers to win the ultimate prize. There were some partial winners: According to the lottery, a ticket sold in Ohio matched five numbers, plus the bonus Megaplier, scoring $3 million. Eight other tickets—two each sold in New Jersey and New York, and one each sold in California, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio—matched five numbers, earning $1 million each.

It looks like Raising Cane's management is on the hook for another $100,000 ticket buy.

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What Is Mega Millions?

Mega Millions is a national lottery. Four Mega Millions jackpots have been won this year, in California, New York, Minnesota and Tennessee. The biggest jackpot ever—$1.537 billion—was won in South Carolina in October 2018. 

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When Is The Next Mega Millions Drawing?

Because no one matched six numbers in Tuesday night's drawing, the total Mega Millions jackpot is now estimated to have grown to $1.02 billion. The next drawing is Friday at 11 pm Eastern time.