For the 2008 fiscal year, New Yorkers bought $7.5 billion worth of lottery tickets. Though sales saw a slight decrease in the first quarter of the 2009 fiscal year, Mega Millions jackpot games have helped pick up sales, Givner said.
"With the recession, there's less disposable income so we're constantly fighting with other products on the market in entertainment," she said. "We've been creative and able to sustain our sales."
Like other big multi-state lotteries, the Mega Millions jackpot starts at $12 million. If nobody wins, the jackpot grows and grows. The more people that play, the larger the jackpot.
Mega Millions started this jackpot run on July 10. It has since rolled over 13 times. The game continues to roll and the jackpot continues to grow, until a ticket produces all six winning lottery numbers. The largest Mega Millions jackpot -- $390 million -- was hit in March 2007.
In Michigan, sales for the $252 million jackpot drawing were about $2.13 million as of 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Sales for a $37 million jackpot at the same time period were $643,000 said Andi Brancato, spokeswoman for the Michigan State Lottery.
"A Mega Millions ticket is only a dollar, so it can be very affordable and appealing for a huge number of people," said Brancato, adding that the state has tickets for various lottery games ranging in cost from 50 cents to $50.