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Raising Cane's drops another $100,000 in lotto tickets after Mega Millions pot swells to $1.1 billion

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Nick Kindelsperger/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

All 50,000 Raising Cane's employees are once again financially invested in the Mega Millions lottery drawing to be held Friday night at 11 p.m. E.T., marking the second time this week that owner and co-CEO Todd Graves has shelled out $100,000 for lottery tickets on behalf of his employees.

Graves originally made headlines earlier this week when he dropped $100,000 of his own money to buy 50,000 Mega Millions tickets, which are $2 a piece, for the drawing last Tuesday night. However, since there no winning ticket was printed, the pot swelled from $810 million to $1.1 billion, and Graves decided to give his crew another shot at a winner.

"Our crew members were so stoked the last time," said co-CEO AJ Kumaran, who originally came up with the idea to buy lottery tickets for struggling employees. "So we decided to try our luck again. And now we're all just excited, waiting and crossing our fingers for a win."

Kumaran gave two main reasons for making such a sizeable investment that has such a small chance of succeeding: fun and hope.

"Look, I hear from our crew members all the time, and things are really tough out there," he explained. "This was an opportunity to have fun but at the same time, hopefully make a little bit of extra money for our people."

While some have suggested that Raising Cane's could have distributed the $200,000 amongst all the employees rather than purchasing lotto tickets on their behalf, doing so would have added just $4 to each employee's wallet.

However, should one of the 50,000 tickets hit and Raising Cane's opts to take the $648 million lump sum rather than the 30-year payout, each employee would garner nearly $13,000.

As fun and exciting as the lottery may be for Raising Cane's employees, employees at the local 7-Eleven likely weren't pleased to hear this news, as the logistics of purchasing 50,000 lottery tickets can be rather complicated. Last time, Graves spent nearly eight hours acquiring the necessary funds from various banks and then waiting at two separate 7-Eleven locations for all the tickets to be printed.

In the event the lottery doesn't work out again — and with odds at about 302 million to one, it probably won't — Raising Cane's has still worked hard lately to provide for employees during the tough economy. The fast food giant increased the wages of most of its employees by 15% last year, according to Kumaran.

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