WTVO/WQRF- Tonight's $425 million Powerball jackpot will draw long lines of lottery players. It's also been a boon for Illinois Lottery revenues, which are up despite not meeting the state's lottery profit projections thanks primarily to Powerball sales. The latest fiscal report indicates Powerball sales in Illinois have risen an astounding 61% since the game was modified to produce bigger jackpots, including doubling the price of a ticket to $2.
What's been great for the lottery, however, hasn't been so great for Stateline lottery players, because the evidence shows that both Illinois and Wisconsin have been unlucky when it comes to producing winning Powerball tickets.
Since Illinois added Powerball in 2010, only 2 state residents have won the jackpot, the latest being Ted Baumgartner of Freeport back in March. He took the cash option of $31 million before taxes. Wisconsin hasn't seen a Powerball winner since 2009.
So which is the luckiest state when it comes to Powerball? Since the game was first created in the 1990's, Pennsylvania has had the most winners -- 16 total -- according to an analysis done by the 'Newark Star-Ledger.' Indiana is in second with 11, Louisiana came in third with 8.
But if you only look at the most recent years -- the years since Illinois joined the Powerball craze -- two states really stand out.
Florida has not only taken the most jackpots since 2010 -- 5 total -- but it also includes the largest Powerball jackpot ever. Gloria MacKenzie won a nearly $600 million dollar jackpot, which came to $380 million for the cash option before taxes. Oh, and Florida doesn't have a state income tax.
The other state is Iowa. Since June of 2012, three Iowa lottery players have won the jackpot, including back-to-back wins in September and October. That's a remarkable run for such a small state, and only Pennsylvania has produced as many winners in the past two years.
So are Iowa and Pennsylvania the places to play, or are Illinois or Wisconsin due for a winner? Buy your tickets, and stay tuned.
Click on the link below for a complete list of lottery winners: