Wisconsin hopes to win big in Powerball jackpot

Wisconsin hopes to win big in Powerball jackpot

When there is $700,000,000 on the line, it’s no surprise people will spend money, to make money.

Hopeful residents on Madison’s west side started lining up to get their lotto tickets before the doors opened Wednesday morning at Woodman’s on Gammon Road.

“They were here at 8:30 a.m. There were several people waiting for her to set up,” said Woodman’s cash office manager, Tammy Rockenbach.

It’s the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history; the cash prize would be nearly $444,000,000.

Despite the interest in the Powerball, the odds are not great. The chances of any one winning ticket is one in 292 million. Even with the slim chances, the store tripled their lotto sales for the day.

Experts say if you’re hoping to find a magic formula to win the big jackpot, you’re out of luck. However, there are some things Laura Albert, UW-Madison probability expert says you should consider before picking your numbers.

“If you want to have a better odds of not sharing the jackpot if you win, it’s better to choose larger numbers,” she said.

Albert said typically people chose numbers based on their birthday, which means if you have a winning ticket you’re more likely to have to share your earnings. Participating in a pool with a group of people will increase your chances of winning, according to Albert.

“If you buy a ticket with your 10 friends all of a sudden you have 11 tickets at your disposal, you increase your chance of winning by tenfold,” Albert said “There aren’t lucky numbers. Any five numbers that you choose no matter what you choose for your ticket, they all have the same chance of winning. There’s no magic formula for that,” she said.

The only larger jackpot than today’s was $1.6 billion, in 2016 that was split by three winning tickets.

Wisconsin has had 16 Powerball wins, ranking the state sixth across the nation.