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Some may say times are tough, but lottery spending doesn't show it

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Some may say times are tough, but lottery spending doesn't show it

Illinoisans apparently haven't lost an appetite for lottery tickets, even though some say they are pinching pennies elsewhere in their personal budgets.

Sales figures for the Illinois Lottery were up nearly 3 percent — to about $2.08 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June.

In the year before, the lottery hit $2 billion in sales for the first time. Both increases come with a steady increase in the popularity of the lottery's instant games.

Illinois Lottery Superintendent Jodie Winnett said Friday that the state is planning to start a study on trends of lottery play during tough economic times. She said she now has only theories about why sales remain up.

One theory, Winnett said, is that people might need some financial hope in lottery tickets, and the chance to win a lot of money doesn't cost very much. The odds of winning, though, often can be exceptionally long.

"It's just a dollar," Winnett said.

Also Friday came news of a study showing that people who view themselves as low-income are more likely to buy lottery tickets.

Published in the July issue of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, the study suggests people who feel they're poor are more likely to take risks.

Emily Haines, an author of the study, said that behavior could explain why lottery sales stay steady, or even rise, when the economy falls.

"Maybe it's because they're trying to make up for what they've lost," said Haines, a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University.

Winnett says the state lottery uses focus groups to help drive interest in instant games, a process that could explain the jump in sales on the scratch-off tickets from about $780 million in the 2004 fiscal year, to $1.1 billion last year.

A full list of Illinois Lottery games can be found at www.lotterypost.com/il.

The Southern

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10 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by assaults.
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ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
Idaho
United States
Member #56506
November 21, 2007
6537 Posts
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Posted: August 2, 2008, 12:44 am - IP Logged

One theory, Winnett said, is that people might need some financial hopein lottery tickets, and the chance to win a lot of money doesn't costvery much... and "Maybe it's because they're trying to make up for what they've lost...

I actually think that is a good theory. Maybe people are playing more in the hopes that they can win money and get out of the hard times we are going through.

However, I know I have cut back on playing. I have a certain amount that I can play at the moment and I really try not to go over that.

"No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

    Avatar
    Oklahoma
    United States
    Member #45345
    August 19, 2006
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    Posted: August 2, 2008, 4:05 am - IP Logged

    The lottery is fun and inexpensive, certainly cheaper than visiting a casino. I have a set amount that I play every week and rarely increase it. When you go into a casino you never know how much you might be tempted to put into the slots.

      time*treat's avatar - radar

      United States
      Member #13130
      March 30, 2005
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      Posted: August 3, 2008, 3:25 am - IP Logged

      People are doing the same thing states are; using gambling (and 'investing') to make up for the shortfall in industrial manufacturing employment.

      "Service Economy", indeed. Roll Eyes

      In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
      Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

        sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
        PA
        United States
        Member #22983
        October 6, 2005
        2226 Posts
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        Posted: August 3, 2008, 3:35 am - IP Logged

        No crap, I spend more money now than before just so hopefully I can win enough for gas.

          savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho
          adelaide sa
          Australia
          Member #37136
          April 11, 2006
          3316 Posts
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          Posted: August 3, 2008, 4:07 am - IP Logged

          yeah well its not like saving and investing is going ot get anyone anywhere.  whats the yeild on a bank account now, like 3% . no wonder people buy more lotto  in tough times, they dont see any other way out.

          2014 = -1016; 2015= -1409; 2016  = -1171; 2017 = ?  TOT =  -3596

          keno historic = -2291 ; 2015= -603; 2016= -424; 2017 = ? TOT = - 3318

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #10720
            January 23, 2005
            933 Posts
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            Posted: August 3, 2008, 12:36 pm - IP Logged

            I cut down to minimum while I develop better algorithms. My systems don't do as well in Summer as in Winter anyway. But I play at least one just to be in the drawing so it's something to look forward to at 12:55 or 7:55 or 10:55. The cutting down on that and other things has been enough to cover the extra cost of gas.

            I think also people are bored because they had to cut travel and other plans that were costing money, so they do this as an alternative.

            The only thing I wish they (the Lotteries) would permit players from other States to play online so they'd not have to travel to play Powerball or Mega and then we could "shop around" to avoid computerized drawings or to play where we felt we have better return.

              time*treat's avatar - radar

              United States
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              March 30, 2005
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              Posted: August 3, 2008, 4:25 pm - IP Logged

              The last thing any state wants is for its citizens to have the chance to get a better deal somewhere else.

              In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
              Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                Wandering Aimlessly
                United States
                Member #25360
                November 5, 2005
                4461 Posts
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                Posted: August 3, 2008, 4:55 pm - IP Logged

                The last thing any state wants is for its citizens to have the chance to get a better deal somewhere else.

                I Agree!  I can't imagine too many other reasons Florida decided to add Powerball.   

                  Instyle's avatar - Lottery-044.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #55821
                  October 21, 2007
                  163 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: August 4, 2008, 9:47 am - IP Logged

                  People are going to find the money to do what they enjoy.  The lottery is fun to me, that why i play it.  It would not be fun if I had  to win to pay bills, or put food on the table. You should not play the lottery if the money is needed in other important areas.  That's not fun.  That's stresss.   Don't play the lottery if you can't afford it.   That makes no sense, because......... most of the time you gonna loose.   

                    assaults's avatar - anime10
                    RALEIGH, North Carolina
                    United States
                    Member #63257
                    July 24, 2008
                    353 Posts
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                    Posted: August 8, 2008, 8:32 pm - IP Logged

                    Personally, I've given up lunch for lotto.