Minnesota lottery officials know the record-breaking Powerball jackpot is creating a buying frenzy.
But on Monday, lottery officials began issuing a word of caution over the airwaves, electronic billboards and social media: Be responsible.
"The current Powerball jackpot has reached record-breaking levels," lottery officials said. "While this is exciting, the Minnesota Lottery encourages players to play responsibly. Players should never spend more than they can afford on any lottery ticket. Please remember, it's just a game."
True, but the $2 ticket is a chance to dream. Minnesotans bundled up against January's subfreezing temps are lining up at convenience stores everywhere in hopes they may soon be living on a beach as the Powerball's next multimillionaire.
Lottery officials said sales in Minnesota for the Saturday, Jan. 9, drawing topped $13.1 million, breaking the previous record of $10.8 million, set on Nov. 28, 2012 for a $587 million jackpot. Saturday's drawing produced 263,866 winning tickets in Minnesota, totaling $1.8 million in prizes, including one worth $150,000 and 10 worth $50,000.
The Jan. 13 Powerball jackpot is currently estimated at $1.4 billion, but that estimate will likely grow. The estimated cash option is $868 million.
The Powerball jackpot has been growing since Nov. 7, 2015, and Minnesota players have won more than $3.7 million since the jackpot run began.
Mary Lynn Smith