Lottery fever heats up in Wisconsin with $1B+ up for grabs

Someone may soon have a very happy New Year; the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots combined are over $1 billion as of Tuesday, Jan. 12.

More people are rushing out the door to get their hands on tickets with drawings set for Tuesday night and Wednesday night, Jan. 13. 

"I usually don’t play very often, so, when it gets real big like this, I have to buy just one," said Stephanie Conley.

Many who spoke to FOX6 News said they would use their winning to help people other than themselves, who have fallen on hard times.

"It definitely snowballs. When it’s the regular price of $40 million, no one really cares or bats an eye, but as soon as it gets to $300-400 million, they’re like, it’s definitely worth my money now," said Joseph McMahon, owner of the Corner Pump in Pewaukee. 

Joseph McMahon

McMahon said he's happy to see more customers than usual, he estimates three-to-four times as many people -- around 100 a day.

Those customers are hoping a little luck will rub off onto them from the very registers that sold a Powerball ticket worth $156.2 million in 2017.

"I wasn’t in the store when it was sold but I was working here when it was sold, and just getting the phone call the next day that someone won was pretty nuts," McMahon said.

Winning 2017 Powerball ticket sold at Corner Pump in Pewaukee

"I know there’s been winners here before, so that is what I am hoping for," said Conley.

After a year that was tough on everyone, customers said their winnings would not just be for them.

"Buy a house, a new car, help my family," Conley said.

Mega Millions and Powerball lottery jackpots surpass a combined $1 billion.

"Retire and take care of family," said Harry Eisenmann.

Others said they would give to strangers in need.

"I don’t think one person needs all that money, but hopefully they can do some good in this world," McMahon said.

To be eligible for the Mega Millions drawing at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, tickets must be bought by 9 p.m. The Powerball drawing is at 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, Jan. 13.

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