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Lottery ticket sales increase across country

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Lottery ticket sales increase across country

Financial records for 41 state lotteries that end their fiscal year in June show 28 had higher sales than the year before. Seventeen of those states set all-time sales records.

Kate Sweeny, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California-Riverside, said an uptick in lottery sales largely occurs when people feel a lack of control over events larger than themselves, such as the economy.

Jeff Anderson, head of the executive committee of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, which represents 52 lotteries in the USA and Canada, said sales growth most often reflects changes in lottery games.

"In general, the play is inexpensive entertainment," said Anderson, who is also director of the Idaho State Lottery. "I have not seen any empirical evidence that indicates in a down economy, people play more."

Yet that's just what a 2004 Cornell University study found. "We see that lottery sales go up as the economy gets bad — but we don't see people spending more on relatively inexpensive other forms of entertainment," said Garrick Blalock, associate professor of economics at Cornell and a co-author of the study.

California had the highest percentage gain over 2010 — 13.2% — to $3.44 billion, just shy of a record $3.6 billion set in 2006, spokesman Alex Traverso said.

Arkansas's growth was higher at 21%, but its lottery didn't start until September 2009, so the comparison with fiscal year 2010 was not over a full previous year.

Arizona posted a record $583.5 million in ticket sales and Missouri, topped $1 billion for the first time.

"I think it has a lot to do with the economy," said Abel Reynoso, who works at a gas station that sells lottery tickets in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

"People are getting desperate."

"When it gets past a certain amount, I always play it," added Roberta Orsi, 60, a Palm Springs, Calif., resident who says she's played the California lottery since it began in October 1985.

Multiple studies of state lotteries have found that those with low incomes spend a higher percentage of their income on lottery tickets than wealthier individuals. That, combined with the correlation between a bad economy and increased lottery sales, raises questions, Blalock says.

"If what looks like is going on is actually going on, states are solving budget shortfalls with what effectively amounts to a regressive tax on the poor," he said.  [Editor: Yet there doesn't seem to be any evidence that the increase of sales is driven disproportionately by the poor, so this is just an opinion.]

Buying lottery tickets is a "voluntary transaction," Anderson countered.

"If responsible adults want to decide how they want to spend their entertainment dollars, it's a little trite to say, 'You shouldn't spend that much,'" he said. "Maybe somebody can't afford two tickets to the movies, but they can afford $2 in scratch-offs. We still have freedom in the United States," he said.

Anderson questioned the significance of studies indicating the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on the lottery.

"Are they spending the bread money?" he said. "Are the children starving? Are they forced out of their home because they are playing CashWord? I don't see that."

J.P. Sira, owner of a 7-Eleven store in Palm Springs, Calif., said one thing is certain. Patrons play in the hope of getting rich quick.

"I've never seen anybody say, 'I want to help schools,'" he said.

Top record-setting states

Top 10 states that set lottery ticket sales records in fiscal year 2011, ranked by percentage of increase in their sales over fiscal year 2010:

  1. Arizona – 6%
  2. Iowa – 5.9%
  3. Pennsylvania – 4.6%
  4. Ohio – 4.4%
  5. Tennessee – 4.2%
  6. Washington – 4.1%
  7. Colorado – 3.5%
  8. Virginia – 3.1%
  9. Illinois – 3%
  10. Missouri – 3%

USA Today

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25 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by jjtheprince.
Page 1 of 2
LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
British Columbia
Canada
Member #116101
September 4, 2011
4033 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 6, 2011, 9:51 am - IP Logged

well I know for one that I'm spending way more this year on lotteries than last year Cheers

"You have to be in it to win it!"

    CrazyHazyYay!'s avatar - atlanta sports-teams-300x208.gif
    Born in the USA
    United States
    Member #108003
    March 19, 2011
    46 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 6, 2011, 9:52 am - IP Logged

    Dang, no love for Georgia or New Jersey? I better start helping the cause so one of my states can crack the top ten! Looks like I'll be dropping my whole paycheck on Mega Millions tonight! Wish me luck!

    edit: oops didn't read the top ten list right. I thought it was just the states who spent the most period... well I got enough food this week and I can just hitch rides to work so wish me luck after getting about 400 QPs!

    While the value of a dollar is substantial, hope is priceless. But if you ain't got a dollar, then it's hopeless.

      LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
      British Columbia
      Canada
      Member #116101
      September 4, 2011
      4033 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 6, 2011, 10:09 am - IP Logged

      Dang, no love for Georgia or New Jersey? I better start helping the cause so one of my states can crack the top ten! Looks like I'll be dropping my whole paycheck on Mega Millions tonight! Wish me luck!

      edit: oops didn't read the top ten list right. I thought it was just the states who spent the most period... well I got enough food this week and I can just hitch rides to work so wish me luck after getting about 400 QPs!

      good luck on them 400 QPs Cheers

      "You have to be in it to win it!"

        dpoly1's avatar - driver
        PA
        United States
        Member #66141
        October 16, 2008
        1672 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 6, 2011, 10:22 am - IP Logged

        many people are struggling and desperate !

        & it is kinda fun to maybe win millions with a small wager !!!!!!!!!!!

        Dance

          dpoly1's avatar - driver
          PA
          United States
          Member #66141
          October 16, 2008
          1672 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 6, 2011, 11:25 am - IP Logged

          many people are struggling and desperate !

          & it is kinda fun to maybe win millions with a small wager !!!!!!!!!!!

          Dance

          & when I win, I will be environmentally responsible & purchase a Flex-fuel vehicle ............

          ...................... the 2012 Bentley Continental GT !  Crazy

          "does that make me craaazy, does that make me craaaazy"

          1 winner on Wednesday so nobody sues the winner because they were left out of the "pool" !  Sun Smiley

            Avatar
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #77101
            July 13, 2009
            7805 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 6, 2011, 12:57 pm - IP Logged

            I really hope your winnings come soon, dpoly!

            Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping

              dpoly1's avatar - driver
              PA
              United States
              Member #66141
              October 16, 2008
              1672 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 6, 2011, 2:56 pm - IP Logged

              I really hope your winnings come soon, dpoly!

              Thank you for your kind remark!

              Sun Smiley

              Kinda need the big win ................. pumping out my cellar from all of the rain! I could see the water coming in from all of the small cracks in the floor! Hellllllllllllllllllllllllllp!

              Trying to remain optimistic!

                Dollar419's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                Santa Ana
                United States
                Member #71159
                February 20, 2009
                651 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: September 6, 2011, 3:44 pm - IP Logged

                Financial records for 41 state lotteries that end their fiscal year in June show 28 had higher sales than the year before. Seventeen of those states set all-time sales records.

                Kate Sweeny, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California-Riverside, said an uptick in lottery sales largely occurs when people feel a lack of control over events larger than themselves, such as the economy.

                Jeff Anderson, head of the executive committee of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, which represents 52 lotteries in the USA and Canada, said sales growth most often reflects changes in lottery games.

                "In general, the play is inexpensive entertainment," said Anderson, who is also director of the Idaho State Lottery. "I have not seen any empirical evidence that indicates in a down economy, people play more."

                Yet that's just what a 2004 Cornell University study found. "We see that lottery sales go up as the economy gets bad — but we don't see people spending more on relatively inexpensive other forms of entertainment," said Garrick Blalock, associate professor of economics at Cornell and a co-author of the study.

                California had the highest percentage gain over 2010 — 13.2% — to $3.44 billion, just shy of a record $3.6 billion set in 2006, spokesman Alex Traverso said.

                Arkansas's growth was higher at 21%, but its lottery didn't start until September 2009, so the comparison with fiscal year 2010 was not over a full previous year.

                Arizona posted a record $583.5 million in ticket sales and Missouri, topped $1 billion for the first time.

                "I think it has a lot to do with the economy," said Abel Reynoso, who works at a gas station that sells lottery tickets in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

                "People are getting desperate."

                "When it gets past a certain amount, I always play it," added Roberta Orsi, 60, a Palm Springs, Calif., resident who says she's played the California lottery since it began in October 1985.

                Multiple studies of state lotteries have found that those with low incomes spend a higher percentage of their income on lottery tickets than wealthier individuals. That, combined with the correlation between a bad economy and increased lottery sales, raises questions, Blalock says.

                "If what looks like is going on is actually going on, states are solving budget shortfalls with what effectively amounts to a regressive tax on the poor," he said.  [Editor: Yet there doesn't seem to be any evidence that the increase of sales is driven disproportionately by the poor, so this is just an opinion.]

                Buying lottery tickets is a "voluntary transaction," Anderson countered.

                "If responsible adults want to decide how they want to spend their entertainment dollars, it's a little trite to say, 'You shouldn't spend that much,'" he said. "Maybe somebody can't afford two tickets to the movies, but they can afford $2 in scratch-offs. We still have freedom in the United States," he said.

                Anderson questioned the significance of studies indicating the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on the lottery.

                "Are they spending the bread money?" he said. "Are the children starving? Are they forced out of their home because they are playing CashWord? I don't see that."

                J.P. Sira, owner of a 7-Eleven store in Palm Springs, Calif., said one thing is certain. Patrons play in the hope of getting rich quick.

                "I've never seen anybody say, 'I want to help schools,'" he said.

                Top record-setting states

                Top 10 states that set lottery ticket sales records in fiscal year 2011, ranked by percentage of increase in their sales over fiscal year 2010:

                1. Arizona – 6%
                2. Iowa – 5.9%
                3. Pennsylvania – 4.6%
                4. Ohio – 4.4%
                5. Tennessee – 4.2%
                6. Washington – 4.1%
                7. Colorado – 3.5%
                8. Virginia – 3.1%
                9. Illinois – 3%
                10. Missouri – 3%

                In my opinion, playing the state lottery is cheaper than going to Las Vegas or one of the indian casinos once a week.  However, with the current lottery ticket sales, there should be more higher lottery winners like myselfWink!!

                  trap574's avatar - Lottery-063.jpg
                  Adk NY
                  United States
                  Member #108847
                  April 1, 2011
                  1619 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: September 6, 2011, 4:06 pm - IP Logged

                  Nowadays besides a lottery ticket,what else will a single dollar buy??

                    Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                    Clarksville
                    United States
                    Member #487
                    July 15, 2002
                    17638 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: September 6, 2011, 4:21 pm - IP Logged

                    Nowadays besides a lottery ticket,what else will a single dollar buy??

                    It is barely covering a loaf of bread now.  TN changed their cash 5 game to make more money..of course I quit playing that, too.  They made it like a PB game and the lower tiers don't pay anything.

                    If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                    You never know when you will get another hit.

                      Set4life's avatar - 2554
                      East Hampton, NY
                      United States
                      Member #41995
                      June 25, 2006
                      1137 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: September 6, 2011, 4:37 pm - IP Logged

                      Makes sense to me, our corrupted govt officials spending billions on rebuilding iraq, the lies with afgan, terrorist this/that, while americans are suffering.

                       

                      Good luck to ALL of us on LP!!!

                           $Group Hug$

                           FOR THE WIN!

                        maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                        Massachusetts
                        United States
                        Member #37433
                        April 14, 2006
                        2747 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: September 6, 2011, 5:43 pm - IP Logged

                        This is a sign of the times, more people have lost faith in the system. Crime is up, gambling is up, suicide is up, corruption is up. The people need a savior and not the political kind, a real statesman.

                        I regulate my self but the temptation to overdo it is present and very powerful. It takes every ounce of willpower I have to stop at $5 tickets a week on online games only, bear in mind I live in MA where we have $5 scratch tickets that can earn you $1,000,000.

                         So far so good.

                        That money's gone fo ever

                          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                          United States
                          Member #73904
                          April 28, 2009
                          14903 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: September 6, 2011, 11:23 pm - IP Logged

                          Oh no, Tennessee is #5.

                          The Dragon Lady will take credit for it and crush anybody who disputes it.

                          We'll never get rid of her now.

                          I think I can hear her cackling with glee.


                                                                       
                                               
                                                                   

                           

                           

                           

                           

                                                                                                                             

                          "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke

                           

                           

                            ChaosX's avatar - dnf
                            Morris County, NJ
                            United States
                            Member #114357
                            July 29, 2011
                            656 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: September 7, 2011, 9:19 am - IP Logged

                            In my opinion, playing the state lottery is cheaper than going to Las Vegas or one of the indian casinos once a week.  However, with the current lottery ticket sales, there should be more higher lottery winners like myselfWink!!

                            I Agree!

                            Playing the state's lottery is a lot cheaper than going to a casino.  Casinos are fun, but costly for just one trip.