Wisconsin Lottery Mega Millions // Lotteries

Wisconsin Lottery Mega Millions


Des Moines, IA - No need to cross state lines to get the big-jackpot lotto tickets. Dozens of states will begin selling both Mega Millions and Powerball tickets on Sunday, moving the U.S. a step closer to having a national lottery.

By the time all the states sign on to the new system this spring, the nation’s two biggest lotteries will be sold in 43 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We expect there will be larger jackpots faster. We expect there to be more winners, ” said Margaret DeFrancisco, co-chair of a committee for both lotteries and president and CEO of the Georgia Lottery Corp.

Powerball, with drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays, is played in 31 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S Virgin Islands. Twenty-three of those places will sell tickets for Mega Millions beginning with the Feb. 2 drawing. Mega Millions, with drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays, is played in 12 states. Ten of them will sell tickets for Powerball starting with the Feb. 3 drawing.

The change could end the tradition of driving into a border state to buy tickets for another game when jackpots climb.

Ermelinda Ribero, a Powerball customer at Angie’s State Line Package Store on the Connecticut/Massachusetts line in Enfield, Conn., usually buys her Mega Millions tickets in her hometown of Longmeadow, Mass. She said Friday that the change will let her make one stop instead of two.

“Since I never win in Massachusetts, maybe I’ll win here, ” she joked.

Customers at Casey’s General Store in the southeast Iowa city of Keokuk, just across the Mississippi River from Illinois, have been talking about the change, said general manager Michelle Walker.

“They’ve asked for sure when the right date is and when they’ll be able to start purchasing, ” said Walker, who added that she herself will also stop driving into Illinois to buy Mega Millions.

In downtown Savannah, Ga., a sign went up Friday at Chirag Patel’s convenience store, advertising Powerball tickets that previously required a drive across the Savannah River into South Carolina.

“Regular players, they ask, ‘When are you going to start?’” he said. “One way or the other, people want to be a millionaire in this economy.”

The estimated jackpot for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing was $144 million, and it was $90 million for Saturday’s Powerball drawing — both before the Sunday cross-selling begins.

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Popular Q&A

When will Wisconsin get mega millions lottery?

As part of an agreement reached between the organizers of Mega Millions and Powerball, the two games will be allowed to coexist beginning on January 31, 2010.
Wisconsin and other Powerball states are expected to begin participating in Mega Millions on that date.

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