GRAND CHUTE - The Powerball jackpot was raised to a new record of $550 million. That number is just an estimate and could go up again.
If the jackpot stays at $550 million, a winner taking the cash option would get about $360 million before taxes.
With the huge number of people playing, Powerball officials say there is a 75 percent chance that someone will win Wednesday night.
But even if you don't have the winning numbers for the jackpot, any one who pays property taxes still comes out on top.
As Powerball machines struggled to keep up with demand, two dollars and a piece of paper are all that separates the buyer, from dreams come true.
"I'll help my kids and grandkids," said Perry Anderson of Hortonville.
"I want to start a foundation for Christian education," said Brian Witt of Appleton.
But even if you don't have the winning ticket or if you don't buy tickets at all. When the Wisconsin Lottery does well, so do you, on your tax bill.
"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," said Wisconsin Lottery director Mike Edmonds.
Roughly 31 percent of the money spent on Wisconsin Lottery games goes back to tax payers 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," said Witt.
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.
"It's always good to shave a little bit of dollars off your property tax bill, everybody in Wisconsin appreciates that," said Edmonds.
So while you may not be holding the winning ticket, at least you'll be holding on to a little more of your hard-earned money at the end of the year.
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