South Carolina lottery officials say sales since July are up $6 million from the same period last year.
Lottery officials say profits should reach the $252 million goal needed to pay for college scholarships.
So, the economy is down, but people are still spending on lottery tickets.
Peggy Adams sells them every day at Gullies Convenience Store.
"Because the economy is bad, and people are hoping to win some money to make things better," said Adams.
The obsession to strike it rich has upped state lottery sales by millions this year, even though some can't afford to take the risk.
Joan Clark is a psychologist with Coping EPA.
She said, "It's a form of desperation. 'I'm so far in now. Let me buy a ticket that might change my luck.'"
Clark says people are more likely to gamble these days. It's their way to escape from reality and worry about mortgages, rising grocery prices, and falling stocks. All they need is to change their luck.
"People blame their lack of money on luck, very often, and they don't look at whether they've mismanaged it or not," said Clark.
Sometimes those dreams do come true, though. A $250,000 winning ticket was sold at Gullies.
"We had a big winner. Y'all come to Gullies," shouted Adams.
But some always highlight the negative, citing the odds of winning the top prize in the Powerball, for example, as 1 in 146 million.
"If they really must buy lottery tickets, make that the last thing they buy with their dollar, not the first," advised Clark.
Lottery officials say profits should reach their goal of $252 million this year.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, the lottery has a toll free number you can call, 1-877-452-5155.
That number's printed on every lottery ticket sold.