Talk about an "office pool."
The CEO of the fast food chicken chain Raising Cane's has purchased 50,000 Mega Millions lottery tickets — one for each of his 50,000 employees — and promised to divvy up the winnings if he hits the $810 million jackpot.
Todd Graves shared a video on his Twitter account showing a lottery machine printing Mega Millions tickets. He captioned the video: "Buying 50,000 lottery tickets is harder than you think! Hoping to share the winning jackpot with our 50,000 @RaisingCanes Crew."
“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,” Graves said in a news 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.”
Tuesday's jackpot soared to $810 Million, the third largest in Mega Millions history and fourth-biggest prize ever in U.S. lottery, after no tickets matched all five white balls and the gold Mega ball in Friday's drawing. And with the odds of winning at a staggering one in 302.5 million, the chances of one of Graves' 50,000 tickets hitting the grand prize is still fairly slim.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers co-CEO and COO AJ Kumaran told TODAY he personally bought the tickets for Graves, who is currently out of the country. He said it took "seven or eight hours" total to print out all the tickets, which Graves is paying for himself. At $2 per ticket, the purchase set him back $100,000.
"Times are hard and things are tough," Kumaran told TODAY. "And we hear from local members, they see it. They see it in the grocery store shelves, they see (it) in the gas station."
The Mega Millions drawing is Tuesday at 11 p.m ET. Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game is overseen by state lottery officials.