Record breaking $1.6 billion Mega Millions Jackpot
The Mega Millions jackpot has reached a record breaking $1.6 billion, causing a spike in the lottery's ticket sales as buyers hope for a chance at the prize money.
This is the biggest prize in Mega Millions history and winners can choose two ways to accept the money. The cash option is about $904.9 million, or winners can choose to receive incremental payments over the next three decades.
"I heard it referred to as the Superbowl of lottery," said Jean Adler, the deputy director of the Wisconsin Lottery.
Adler said there has been an increase in people buying Mega Millions tickets because of the unusually high jackpot.
"Friday our sales were going crazy for lack of a better word," Adler said. "At the peak around 5 o'clock, we were selling over $10,000.00 per minute state wide."
That increase is reflected in ticket sales at local convenience stores.
"For most of the time there are maybe, I don't know, five to 10 people a day who get some kind of lottery thing, now it's pretty much every other customer wants Mega Millions, it's pretty crazy," said Aly Lawrence, who works at Casey's General Store in Verona.
On Monday, Casey's sold tickets to over 70 customers, totaling over $400.00.
While that prize money may benefit the lucky ticket holder or holders, it also benefits the state of Wisconsin.
"It's very beneficial to the state of Wisconsin in the form of property tax relief," Adler said. "We have 4.3 billion that we've given back over the life of the lottery. And if the winner is here, it's also taxed for state income tax, so we would see a boost there as well."
The last opportunity to buy tickets for the $1.6 billion jackpot is Tuesday night by 9 p.m.