The Wisconsin Lottery has been running for 25 years, has already provided lottery players with over $6.46 billion in prizes and paid out a further $714 million in commissions to lottery retailers. That's a lot of loot, but many Wisconsin residents still feel let down by their state lottery.
When the lottery was approved, in 1987, the good folk of Wisconsin were also promised property tax relief and it appears many people prefer the idea of saving money to the possibility of winning it.
The lottery has already paid out $3.5 billion in tax relief, but many people feel the sum should have been more. Lottery director, Michael Edmonds, disagrees, "I think people look upon the lottery favorably in general, and we’ve been a consistent source of tax relief for Wisconsin homeowners," Edmonds said. "$3.5 billion is a good chunk of money. We’re pretty happy with where it’s at."
State Senator, Robert Cowles, also appears happy with the present arrangement and believes the lottery has been accepted by the majority of Wisconsin residents. Todd Berry (Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance) has a different view. "We’ve done studies where we looked at the lottery credit as a share of the average property tax bill in Wisconsin. At its peak, it was a 4 to 5 percent reduction, but it’s approaching a 1 percent reduction now."
Love it or hate it though; the game goes on, people continue putting their numbers on, and today's Mega Bucks draw has an expected (annuity) jackpot of $4.2 million.