The Wisconsin Lottery has generated more than $3 billion for Property Tax relief since 1988. For more on the Lottery's finances, its history, and its commitment to operating with security and Financials on behalf of Wisconsin residents, click on the appropriate header below.

Where the Money Goes

Since its beginning in 1988, the Wisconsin Lottery has managed the Lottery fund with the following results

Video about Where the Money Goes
(YouTube video)

Where the money goes pie chart

  • Prizes Paid
    ($6.4 billion or 56.51% of revenue)
  • At least 50% of total revenue must be dedicated to prize winnings.
  • Retailer Compensation Paid
    ($690.0 million or 6.03% of revenue)
  • This money goes to Wisconsin businesses.
  • Operational Expenses
    ($750.1 million or 6.55% of revenue)
  • Expenses include staff salaries. The Lottery has operated well below the mandated limit of 10%.
  • Funding for Property Tax Credits
    ($3.5 billion or 30.91% of revenue)

This money has been returned to eligible Wisconsin taxpayers.

Over the years, the Wisconsin Lottery has generated more than $11.4 billion in total revenue. At least 95% of that revenue has gone back to the people of Wisconsin. That money stays in Wisconsin's economy for the good of everyone.

History of the Wisconsin Lottery

1st Wisconsin Lottery Building
Date Event
September 14, 1988 First Wisconsin Lottery games go on sale. Instant Game "Match 3" and Pull-tab "Wisconsin Red" launched. First Wisconsin Lottery Ticket
February 25, 1989 Money Game TV show first broadcast.  
August 10, 1989 First lotto game launch, Megabucks Lotto *America, a multi-state game. Megabucks Lotto America
February 4, 1991 SuperCash! is introduced. SuperCash! Logo
April 19, 1992 Powerball® is introduced, a new multi-state game. Replaces Megabucks Lotto *America game. Powerball with PowerPlay
June 18, 1992 Wisconsin's Very Own Megabucks game is launched. Wisconsin's Very Own Megabucks
September 21, 1992 The Lottery launches Daily Pick 3. Pick 3
July 7, 1993 Fond du Lac school teacher Les Robins wins the largest Powerball® jackpot to date: $111 million. Powerball with PowerPlay
  Robins goes to court to have the prize legally divided with his then-fiancee Colleen DeVries. The win helps cement the reputation of Fond du Lac's "Miracle Mile."  
September 18, 1993 Money Game 4 new lotto game launched. Money Game
February 14, 1994 The First Wisconsin Lottery game with a price point above $1 is introduced. "Instant Scratch Bingo" sells for $5.  
August 3, 1996 Money Game 4 lotto game ended.
September 16, 1996 Introduction of Daily Millions lotto game (no top prize winners).  
September 15, 1997 Daily Pick 4 is introduced. Pick 4
March 29, 1998 Daily Millions lotto game ends.
March 30, 1998 Cash 4 Life game introduced. Win $1,000 a week for life. Cash4Life
May 20, 1998 Wisconsin is thrust into the national and international spotlight for selling the winning ticket in a $195 Million Powerball® drawing. Frank and Shirley Capaci of Streamwood, Illinois purchase the ticket from a small store in Pell Lake. The Capaci's take the cash option of 104.3 million. Powerball with PowerPlay
May 3, 1999 Crossword, Wisconsin's top selling instant scratch ticket is launched.  
September 7, 2000 End of Cash 4 life game. There were a total of four winners during the duration of the game.  
September 8, 2000 Money Roll, a new lotto game is launched. Money Roll
March 1, 2001 "Power Play" multiplier feature is added to Powerball®. Power Play
Elvis and a Moola at Summerfest 2002  Beetle Baily visiting a Moola sister and friend
March 25, 2002 End of Money Roll. There were a total of four winners of $500,000 for the duration of the game.  
March 26, 2002 New lotto game City Picks is launched. City Picks
July 19, 2002 Super Money Game Show is introduced. Super Money Game Show
October 6, 2002 Powerball® changes white balls to 53 (from 49) and deletes the 1X multiplier. Annuity option changed to 30 payments made over 29 years. A new Powerball® Bonus prize is also added. When the jackpot reaches a "new" record amount, the jackpot will be limited to increase no more than $25 million for each drawing. For example the current record jackpot is $365 million, add only $25 million, so the bonus prize trigger amount is $390 million. The money collected in excess of the estimated jackpot amount will be placed in the bonus prize pool and will accumulate until there is a jackpot winner. It is then divided equally among all Match 5 winning plays, if there are none then the bonus prize pool will roll down to the match 4+1 prize level. Powerball with PowerPlay
February 15, 2003 End of City Picks game. There were a total of sixteen winners of $500,000 for the duration of the game.  
February 17, 2003 Badger 5 new lotto game is launched. Badger 5
August 30, 2004 The Lottery goes from using balls for the drawings to using a Random Number Generator (RNG).  
August 26, 2005 First Wisconsin lottery's scratch-off with a price point of $20 is introduced.  
August 28, 2005 The Powerball® matrix is changed from (5/53 + 1/42) to (5/55 + 1/42). The Power Play wheel is changed from 15 to 16 slots with the 2-5 multipliers occupying 4 slots each. Powerball with PowerPlay
October 4, 2005 The Lottery adds support for Wisconsin Amber Alerts on retailer game terminals.  
October 23, 2005 SuperCash! adds a doubler feature to every drawing, top prize is moved from $250,000 to $350,000 and the range of numbers changed from 1 - 36 to 1 - 39. SuperCash! Logo
February 5, 2007 Launch of the first combo ticket "Cash Bonus Double Play" a combination of scratch and pull-tab. Cash Bonus Double Play
March 4, 2007 The new game "Million Dollar Draw" is launched with a draw date of May 1, 2007. The lotto game is run like a raffle with a top prize of $1 million. 345,635 tickets out of 500,000 are sold. More raffles would follow. Million Dollar Draw
2008 Wisconsin Lottery celebrates its 20th Anniversary with lots of special events, big prizes and larger payouts.

Wisconsin Lottery 20th Anniversary

January 30, 2010 The Wisconsin Lottery adds Mega Millions. Mega Millions
September 2, 2011 Wisconsin launches the world's first $20 crossword ticket "Supreme Crossword." Supreme Crossword instant ticket
January 15, 2012 The cost of a Powerball tickets increases to $2. With this change, the jackpots get bigger, the odds get better, and the prizes increase as well. In addition, Power Play changes from a multiplier to a fixed prize. Powerball

July 31, 2013

The Wisconsin Lottery joins Twitter: @wilottery (https://www.twitter.com/wilottery)
Twitter
September 14, 2013 The Wisconsin Lottery celebrated its 25th Birthday! 25th Birthday logo
October 19, 2013 The Mega Millions matrix changes for better overall odds and bigger jackpots. Mega Millions
December 9, 2013 The Wisconsin Lottery launches Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wilottery Facebook

January 19, 2014

Powerball changes to bring back the random Power Play multiplier.
Powerball with PowerPlay
February 21, 2014 The Wisconsin Lottery introduced its first $30 ticket, Instant Million, which has 4 instant prizes of $1 million! Instant Million ticket
April 6, 2014 The Wisconsin Lottery launches its newest lotto game "5 Card Cash." 5 Card Cash logo

Largest Wisconsin Jackpots

Moola sister and friends
Game Amount
Powerball $208,600,000 on 8-5-2006
Megabucks $20,300,000 on 8-25-2001
Badger 5 $342,000 on 9-10-2010

Financials

By law the Wisconsin Lottery is audited yearly by the independent Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB). The three most recent financial audits are linked below: