MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every Friday, Heather Brown takes a look at some of the burning questions that our viewers have sent. This week, we’re looking at a few questions on this week’s historic Powerball lottery jackpot of $700 million.

Jeanette wants to know, how is the total jackpot calculated?

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The advertised, estimated amount is what you’d win if you took the annuity over 29 years. So, they roll over what’s left over from the last jackpot, take a percentage of the expected sales for the next drawing and add in the interest rates that would be used for the securities used to fund the annuity.

Alex asks: Is it better to do “quick pick” or pick your own?

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I really we wish we had a good answer for this one — I really, really do!

The people at Powerball say between 70 to 80 percent of purchases are computer picks and between 70 to 80 percent of winners are computer picks, which is about what you’d expect. So, the jury’s out on this one.

Phyllis wants to know: How much lottery money does the state get?

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Given 24 cents of every dollar spent on any lottery ticket in Minnesota goes directly to the state’s general fund or environment, the state has raised more then $2.5 billion since it started in 1990. But when it comes to taxes on prizes Minnesotans have won over time, that’s $113 million.

Heather Brown