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Kimberlee Kruesi/Associated Press

  • Across the U.S., state lottery systems use that revenue to boost education, tourism, transportation and much more. Now that the giant Mega Millions lottery jackpot has ballooned to more than $1 billion, state officials are hoping increased national interest in securing the top prize will result in more funding for their own causes. However, critics of these lottery-funded programs note that lower-income players foot the bill for benefits they won't proportionately reap.