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Big lottery jackpot could be big payout in South Dakota

Posted: Jan 5, 2021 / 04:26 PM CST / Updated: Jan 5, 2021 / 04:26 PM CST

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been about seven years since a Rapid City couple won $2 million in the Powerball lottery.

Jim and Barb Powers won $2 million on June 5, 2013, according to the South Dakota State Lottery. Before that, Neal Wanless became the state’s biggest winner so far as he won a $232,100,000 Powerball on May 27, 2009.

Now that the Powerball lottery jackpot has reached $410 million as of Jan. 5, its highest jackpot since March 2019, it could entice South Dakotans to try and become the next big winner.

“Oh yeah, we are selling a lot,” Sunshine Foods of Sioux Falls manager Brian Monahan said of Powerball lottery tickets.

Powerball lotto tickets aren’t the only seller as the Mega Millions Lottery jackpot has already reached $432 million. So far it’s the largest since June 2019. The drawing is Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Tammy Gred works in customer service at Sunshine. The chance to win millions has drawn some buyers who rarely buy a lotto ticket, she said.

“Some of my regulars are buying more,” Gred said.

“A handful are work groups,” Gred said of customers who are buying lotto tickets in a group purchase.

“Large lotto jackpots tend to generate increased sales and more excitement among our players and retail partners,” said Wade Laroche, director of advertising and public relations for the South Dakota Lottery. “While these jackpots lead to increased attention, we always remind our players to play responsibly and that it only takes one ticket to win.”

Sunshine is one of 609 licensed lotto ticket sellers in the state, according to the South Dakota Lottery. Those licensed sellers receive a 5% commission plus bonuses for selling larger winning tickets.

As the jackpot grows so can the revenue pot for the state.

The state’s general fund receives 25% in net revenue from lotto tickets, according to the South Dakota Lottery. The capital construction fund receives the other 75%.

The lottery generated $128,430,861 for the state in fiscal year 2020. It generated $129,422,384 in fiscal year 2019. And $124.7 million in fiscal year 2018. The money comes from scratch tickets, lotto tickets and video lottery.

Mega Millions and Powerball tickets cost $2 per player or $3 for Powerball option or $3 for a megaplier option for Mega Millions.

Laroche used the distribution of the $1 per ticket price as an example of the price is divided.

Laroche said 48.8% or 49 cents goes to prizes. The retail commissions receives .05 cents or 5.10%, instant and online vendors received .08 cents or 7.58%, .06, or 5.68%, goes to operating expenses and .33 cents or 32.84% goes to distributions.

South Dakotans spend more than residents of neighboring states on lottery tickets, according to an analysis by LendEDU. The analysis is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau’s most recent data is from 2018.

South Dakota’s lotto expense per capita was $186.94. Iowa’s was $117.57. Minnesota’s was $99.40. Nebraska’s was $100.91 while Wyoming’s was $42.34.

North Dakotans don’t spend nearly as much on lottery tickets as their neighbors. The per capita spending was $30.32. The state’s per capita spending decreased from $34.68 in 2017 to $30.32 in 2018.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It's been about seven years since a Rapid City couple won $2 million in the Powerball lottery.