When Wisconsin Lottery does well, Wisconsin taxpayers benefit

GRAND CHUTE, Wisconsin -- The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday's drawing on November 28th was a record $550 million, and with the number of people playing, Powerball officials said there was a 75% chance someone would win. However, there is still good news for those who don't win the big jackpot Wednesday night.

Powerball tickets were selling fast on Wednesday, and as they were purchased, buyers shared their dreams for what they would do with all that money.

"I'll help my kids and grandkids," one ticket buyer said.

"I want to start a foundation for Christian education," another buyer said.

However, even those without the winning lottery ticket are still winners after the big drawing Wednesday night. When the Wisconsin Lottery does well, so do taxpayers.

"You've got what's called the lottery credit, and that's the distribution of the profits from the lottery which last year were somewhere between $140 and $150 million dollars," Wisconsin's Lottery Director said.

Roughly 31% of the money spent on Wisconsin Lottery games goes back to taxpayers in the form of property tax credits.

The Powerball is the state's best selling lottery game. It also has the biggest payback for tax relief. Powerball returns 40 cents of every dollar, so when the jackpots get this big, almost everyone wins.

"I have always said I am one of the lottery winners because I get that property tax credit every year and I don't spend nearly that much on tickets," one buyer said.

Since the lottery began in 1988, over $3 billion has been returned to taxpayers as property tax credits. Last year the average was about $90. This year it will be about $96.

So those who may not be holding the winning ticket on Wednesday night will at least be able to hold on to a little more of their hard-earned money at the end of the year.