Powerball Fever; Where Does Ticket Money Go?

Posted at 6:42 PM, Nov 28, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-28 19:33:33-05

KENT COUNTY, Mich. – There is nothing like a record $550 million Powerball jackpot flashing in our eyes to get us back in line again and shelling out cash.

At Party World in Alpine Township, the lines and parking lot were packed all day Wednesday. Men, women, seniors, the FedEx guy. All rushing in to buy a ticket on the day of the drawing.

Some are newcomers and others are regular gamblers with strategy.

“I use birthdays for me, people close to me, immediate family, and maybe and ex-girlfriend or two, I don’t know how lucky that is,” laughs Sam Roka with tickets in hand.

The Powerball includes 42 states and D.C. and is the second highest in lottery history.

So what would you do if you actually won?

“I would make sure my grandchildren and my sons were all taken care and could afford college if they wanted to go,” said  Rhonda Randow, who bought a ticket Wednesday afternoon.

“I would buy my own business, heating and cooling,” said Jeff Nelson from Grand Rapids.

Own a business, pay off debt, help the kids, take a trip, and give to charity were just a few of the reasons for buying a ticket.

The odds aren’t in your favor coming out to one in 175 million, however, Michigan will still get a portion of money.

For every dollar spent on a ticket, 30 cents of that goes towards Michigan’s education fund. The rest goes to pay for prizes, commissions, and vendors.

This year alone, lottery sales generated $770 million in revenue for Michigan education.

Since 1972, The Michigan Lottery has contributed over $17 billion to the fund. So even if you’re not a winner, your state gets some of the cash.

Wednesday’s Powerball drawing is at 10:59 p.m.