JEFFESON CITY - This weekend's Powerball and Mega Million lotteries rack up more than $1 billion in jackpot earnings combined.
“It only takes one ticket to win,” Susan Goedde, communications manager for the Missouri Lottery said.
Goedde said statistics show Missouri has the second highest number of jackpot winners compared to the other 47 states that participate in the Powerball lottery.
In her 29 years of service with the Missouri Lottery, she recalls a woman from Cameron, Missouri, who bought her first Powerball ticket and won $30 million.
Columbia local, Antonio Carpenter, said it’s his first time playing the lottery.
Carpenter said if he won the $570 million jackpot, he would make sure that everyone in his family would be taken care of.
“The odds must be in my favor,” Carpenter said.
Although there’s a lot of national hype surrounding these two lottery jackpots, Goedde said they want people to play responsibly.
“When we hit a certain level on jackpots one of the messages we make sure we put out everywhere is to play responsibly and to play within financial means. We don’t want people spending their rent money on tickets."
For those who enjoy playing more than just the weekly lottery tickets, Goedde said the My Lottery Players Club gives extra prizes and occasional drawings to participants.
Goedde also recommends using the new app, as a quick and easy way to scan your ticket to see if it’s a winner. It's also another way to see if you have won any secondary prizes from your lottery ticket.
“Not only do they have great jackpots, but there are eight other ways they can win,” she said.
Taxes on lottery winnings include a 25 percent federal tax, a four percent state tax and additional taxes based on your tax bracket.
The Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will take place at 10 p.m. on Friday, January 5 and Saturday, January 6, respectively. To check your numbers, head to the MO Lottery Website.