The nationwide Mega Millions jackpot now exceeds $1 billion for Friday night's drawing. That's a far cry from the first $5,000 that a man named Loss ever saw given away when he became one of the inaugural employees at the Iowa Lottery. Larry Loss hopes to see someone win big tonight before he hangs it up and retires on August 18.

According to Radio Iowa, the Iowa Lottery began its operations in July 1985, and at the time Larry Loss was a beverage distributor out of Spencer. He heard about the organization and quickly became one of 2,200 people to apply for 30 jobs at the time, and he was one of the first to get one.

Regarding his name, Loss says the irony was not...lost, on him or the officials doing the hiring at the Iowa Lottery.

I understand. There was some interesting conversation about that before I was hired, whether the lottery should hire anybody with the name of loss or not. I’m glad they decided they could

He not only became one of the first but one of the youngest Iowa Lottery employees, at age 26. Loss marked his 37th year with the organization this week, on July 28. After retiring next month, Loss says he will spend a few months enjoying it before deciding his next move.

But first, as he and all of us wait to either see someone become a huge winner or observe yet another increase in a giant jackpot that is up for grabs to anyone in 45 states, including Iowa, plus Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands, Loss hopes to go out by watching someone win.

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