Editor’s note: Following is a staff-written blog posted at Leader-Telegram.com.
The lottery gets a lot of attention when jackpots for multi-state games such as Powerball and Mega Millions reach triple-digit levels.
Everyone remembers last fall when the Mega Millions jackpot hit $1.6 billion on Oct. 23 and the Powerball jackpot hit $750 million just four days later.
But Megabucks, a Wisconsin Lottery game where tickets can only be purchased in Wisconsin, has quietly grown to a sizeable jackpot.
The next drawing on Wednesday for Megabucks will have a $5.6 million jackpot, the game’s largest since 2015.
A record $22.5 million jackpot on May 30, 2015, was the most recent in Megabucks history to surpass the $5 million mark.
Megabucks started in Wisconsin in 1992.
Megabucks drawings are every Wednesday and Saturday nights.
Each set of two plays cost $1 per draw.
Players may choose six different numbers from 1 to 49. Jackpots begin at $1 million and increase until won.
The present Megabucks jackpot is the 29th to reach $5 million. The game’s latest multi-million dollar win, totaling $2.2 million, came on April 14.
The second highest jackpot was $20.3 million in August 2001.
The next five highest jackpots for Megabucks were $16.5 million in May 1997, $15.7 million in February 1994, $15.4 million in October 2006, $14.6 million in July 2007 and $14.4 million in January 2012.
Winning any lottery jackpot is a pie-in-the-sky proposition.
But compared to winning the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpots, conquering the Megabucks jackpot seems like a breeze.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 259 million. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175 million.
But the odds of winning Wednesday’s Megabucks jackpot are a much more reasonable — if you can call it that — 1 in 7 million.
I know I will buy a ticket.
— Dan Holtz,