Playing Powerball; Where Does Your Money Go? - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Playing Powerball; Where Does Your Money Go?

Updated: Nov 28, 2012 10:40 PM CST

A record high Powerball jackpot this week had a lot of us out buying tickets and dreaming big. But are you wondering where all that money being spent actually goes?
It's pretty simple break down but varies from state to state. In Iowa, for example, 50 cents of every dollar spent goes to the cash prizes. Thirty five cents goes to different programs and services in the state. The last 15 cents of every dollar is split between retail locations and lottery general expenses. The system is similar in Illinois. Of course this jackpot has most people thinking about money going back in their pockets.
Odds for winning the Powerball jackpot are one in more than 175 million but that isn't stopping the hoards of lottery hopefuls. "The hype is crazy. It's just everywhere you go you hear everybody talk about, 'oh my God it's 550 million dollars,'" said Dustin Koons who bought a few tickets in Moline Wednesday night.
Lottery officials say tickets were selling at a rate of more than 130,000 per minute nationwide Wednesday. That's about six times the volume from a week ago. "I'm from Connecticut and I came out to the Midwest to buy my Powerball tickets because all the winners are from the Midwest," said Ken Tamborra.
You could say participating states are winners too. In Iowa, some of the profits go to the Iowa Veteran's Trust Fund to benefit veteran's and their families. "It also goes to the state general fund where it's used to pay for everything from education to law enforcement to agriculture programs," said Iowa Lottery Spokesperson Mary Neubauer.
In Illinois, revenue benefits the Common School Fund, and that's usually about $623 million a year. Money also goes to the capital projects fund.
"So you can feel good about playing the lottery, and you get a chance to win," added Tamborra.
"It's a charity in disguise. It goes for a good cause too and at the same time makes a lot of people happy," said Moline gas station owner Jangbir Thakur.
The commission gas stations and retailers regularly get is meager, but there's always hope to sell a winning ticket. Of course those playing all have different ideas of how they'd spend the money. "Family, friends, change a lot of people's lives. And of course pay bills," said Tamborra.
There have been 16 consecutive drawings without a winner, but Powerball officials believe there is a 75 percent chance someone has the winning numbers this time.


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