The largest Powerball Jackpot in history had people from across the country and South Dakota lining up for their shot at $570 million.
The South Dakota Executive Lottery Director Norm Lingle said as of 4:30pm on Wednesday, $722,000 worth of tickets were sold in South Dakota.
Lingle says ticket sales are always higher on a draw day, but when the Jackpot is huge, even first timers are drawn to the Powerball counter, looking for their shot at $570 million. That's a cash value of more than $360 million.
Not surprisingly, ticket counters had long lines pretty much all day. Those long lines served as a pretty strong reminder that the odds of actually winning the jackpot are not in your favor. Powerball players have a 1 in 175,223, 510.
Even if you don't win, a small portion of your $2.00 ticket will actually be put to some good.
Buying a Lotto ticket for a chance at $570 million may seem like a pretty small investment, but those $2 purchases add up pretty quickly.
In 2012, Lingle said South Dakota Lottery brought in over $25 million in instant ticket sales and a little over $28 million dollars in Lotto ticket sales.
About half of that money goes to pay for prizes, the other half is for revenue and expenses—expenses that benefit South Dakota.
"Roughly 25 cents from every ticket is used for the causes the S.D. Lottery supports which are the general fund and the capital construction fund," said Lingle.
The state's general fund supports things like education, Medicare and other state funded programs. The Capital Construction Fund supports our water, waste and recycling system, reduces ethanol costs and supports the state's highway system.
More lotto ticket sales mean more money for each fund.
"We will be able to generate additional dollars for the state of South Dakota based off of this jackpot run that we're currently on," said Lingle.
As South Dakotans buy their tickets, some are thinking of the benefits to South Dakota.
"It all goes back into South Dakota anyway so you know everyone is trying to help us out, which is appreciated," said Lewis Pharmacy Customer Service Supervisor Jean Cram.
But others are simply buying a ticket for a chance at that $570 million.
"For that one night you can imagine and dream about what you can have maybe tomorrow and I guess you wake up in the morning and it's probably not going to happen, so just that dream of what if," said Jyssica Laddusaw.
If you bought your ticket on Wednesday before 4:30pm anywhere in South Dakota, take some comfort in knowing you helped contribute more than $90,000 to the state budget.
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