Lottery fever hits Wisconsin as Mega Millions, Powerball jackpots soar

MILWAUKEE -- It does happen: lottery fever in Wisconsin and other states. It happens when the jackpot gets huge. Friday, January 5th, there are back to back lottery jackpots that are in the hundreds of millions of dollars -- and that fever is burning twice as hot.

In the aisles of gas stations and other retailers, you can pick up a snack, a coffee, gas, and a dream. Everybody seems to be trying to get a piece of the action.

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots hover around and exceed the $500 million mark. The back to back jackpots are likes of which lottery officials haven't seen before.

Cindy Polzin

"Sales are definitely higher, and we've seen this in the past when jackpots start ticking up sales definitely tick up as well and that's exciting for everybody," said Cindy Polzin with the Wisconsin Lottery.

The Wisconsin Lottery is celebrating its 30th year in business, and officials say during that times it's delivered $4.1 billion in property tax relief.

"I figure taxes and stuff, it's worth it when it gets up to $300 million or so," said Nate Boos, bought lottery ticket.

While the odds are better enjoying a cup of coffee, there are those enjoy a different possibility.

Gino Smith

"For $2, you're renting a dream for a few hours. Probably not a winner but between now and then I'm spending millions and millions of dollars," said Gino Smith, bought lottery ticket.

The jackpot for Mega Millions is this high because prices went from $1 to $2 a ticket in October. The drawing takes place at 9:59 p.m. Friday night.