Ringing in 2018 with potentially $800 million

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) If you play the lottery in 2018 it could be your lucky year.

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots combined are almost $800 million. The Mega Millions is at an estimated $343 million, and the Powerball an estimated $440 million.

Matthew Vincent, the Manager of Mr. Gas in Twin Falls, sees an increase in sales when people are out of work and right up until cutoff time to buy, which is an hour before the drawings.

“We have a lot of customers that ask if we can print them the winning ticket,” Vincent said.

The Mega Millions numbers are drawn at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, and if no winner is selected another drawing is done on Fridays, with the Powerball drawings happen at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The pots from both lotteries continue to roll over and grow until a winning ticket is produced.

"It seems like for whatever reason people don't want to go out and buy lottery tickets and win 10, 15 or 20 million, but once it hits 300 and above people just go crazy,” said Jim Lynch the co-owner of Mr. Gas.

In 2017 the Mega Millions jackpot only got over $200 million twice, giving 2018 an impressive start.

"It would be interesting to find out how it would come about if you did win," said Mr. Gas customer Shane Burton. "Taking care of the people that take care of you. A lot of traveling. I would probably have to get out of town for quite some time. You could make the community much stronger with that type of money.”

Winners have 180 days in Idaho to claim their prize, and once they do so, they have 60 days to decide if they want to take the money in the cash lump sum or the annuity option of 26 payments over 25 years.

If Twin Falls resident Carl Robinson won he would take care of his family.

"First of all I would make sure my little daughter Brinley and my 13-year-old Zoey were well off. And then the rest gets split up with family: sisters, cousins, nephews, mom and dad,” Robinson said.

The USA Today released a list of helpful tips to use if you find yourself holding a winning ticket. Among them include to sign the back of your ticket so it’s officially yours, don’t solicit that you’re a winner, consult with a legal team and accountant to move forward with what comes next.

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