LOS ANGELES—With the national lottery prize ballooning to nearly $1 billion in recent days, local woman Julia Ortega, an IT specialist who purchased a single Mega Millions ticket with her coworkers, confirmed Thursday that she already knew how she would dispose of their bodies. “Obviously, there’s a really slim chance that I’ll even win, but I can’t help fantasizing about getting my hands on the jackpot, digging a hole in the woods, and then burying their hacked-up bodies somewhere they’ll never be found,” said Ortega, adding that she had learned from the cautionary tales of past winners to not give into the temptation to place all of her coworkers’ limbs, feet, and torsos in one spot, but rather parcel them out into several unmarked graves. “I’m going to be super practical about it. Right away, I’ll put their dismembered bodies into a freezer somewhere. And I’ll only take them out when I know it’s a prudent decision. And when friends and hangers-on come to me begging for one little hint about whether I was involved in my coworkers’ unforeseen disappearances, I know that I just have to firmly tell them ‘no.’ It’ll be a big adjustment learning to live with the knowledge that I have the the blood of seven people on my hands, but I’m sure it will ultimately transform my life for the better.” At press time, Ortega admitted that if she did lose she might still treat herself to slaying one coworker.