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Here's how much the average person spends on the lottery in every state

Nov 20, 2019, 4:54 pm

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Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Here's how much the average person spends on the lottery in every stateRating:

Millions of Americans willingly spend their hard-earned money for a chance at an early retirement, lifelong financial security, and the extravagant lifestyle that a single lucky lottery ticket could provide. 

Americans spent a staggering $71.8 billion on lottery tickets in 2017 — or about $285 per adult. Of course, lottery ticket spending is not the same across all states, and in some parts of the country, Americans appear much more willing to spend in the hopes of hitting the jackpot. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2017 Annual Survey of State Government Finances, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed total lottery spending per person 18 and over to identify how much the average adult spends on the lottery in every state.

Population figures and income data came from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2017 American Community survey. Per capita spending on the lottery ranges by state, from as little as $45 to as much nearly $927. Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah did not permit the sale of lottery tickets in 2017, the most recent year for which ticket sale data is available. 

According to a 2016 Gallup poll, higher-income Americans are more likely to play the lottery than those on the lower end of the income spectrum, completely obliterating the oft-repeated myth that lotteries unfairly target the poor. In keeping with that finding, the majority of states with greater lottery spending per adult also have higher than average median household incomes.

For a number of state governments, the lottery is an important source of revenue. States collect far more in lottery ticket sales than they pay out to winners. After accounting for prize money and administrative costs, proceeds from state lotteries often total in the hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars. Still, most states get the largest portion of their annual revenue from either income or sales taxes. Here is a look at the states where Americans pay the most in taxes.

Lottery Spending by State in 2017

  1. AlabamaNo state lottery
    • Lottery spending per adult: N/A
    • Total lottery ticket sales: N/A
    • Prize money awarded: N/A
    • Median household income: $49,861 (6th lowest)
  2. AlaskaNo state lottery
    • Lottery spending per adult: N/A
    • Total lottery ticket sales: N/A
    • Prize money awarded: N/A
    • Median household income: $74,346 (8th highest)
  3. Arizona
    • Lottery spending per adult: $150.79 (14th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $811.8 million (22nd highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $557.4 million ($103.55 per adult)
    • Median household income: $59,246 (24th lowest)
  4. Arkansas
    • Lottery spending per adult: $184.61 (16th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $423.8 million (14th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $306.4 million ($133.47 per adult)
    • Median household income: $47,062 (3rd lowest)
  5. California
    • Lottery spending per adult: $204.52 (17th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $6.2 billion (2nd highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $4 billion ($130.04 per adult)
    • Median household income: $75,277 (6th highest)
  6. Colorado
    • Lottery spending per adult: $118.44 (9th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $514.6 million (18th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $341.5 million ($78.60 per adult)
    • Median household income: $71,953 (11th highest)
  7. Connecticut
    • Lottery spending per adult: $403.48 (9th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $1.1 billion (18th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $756.3 million ($265.75 per adult)
    • Median household income: $76,348 (5th highest)
  8. Delaware
    • Lottery spending per adult: $607.34 (3rd highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $460.1 million (16th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $135 million ($178.13 per adult)
    • Median household income: $64,805 (16th highest)
  9. Florida
    • Lottery spending per adult: $346.73 (13th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $5.8 billion (3rd highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $4 billion ($238.13 per adult)
    • Median household income: $55,462 (14th lowest)
  10. Georgia
    • Lottery spending per adult: $507.46 (5th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $4 billion (6th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $2.7 billion ($345.88 per adult)
    • Median household income: $58,756 (23rd lowest)
  11. HawaiiNo state lottery
    • Lottery spending per adult: N/A
    • Total lottery ticket sales: N/A
    • Prize money awarded: N/A
    • Median household income: $80,212 (3rd highest)
  12. Idaho
    • Lottery spending per adult: $173.90 (15th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $221.5 million (9th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $160.3 million ($125.86 per adult)
    • Median household income: $55,583 (15th lowest)
  13. Illinois
    • Lottery spending per adult: $287.07 (16th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $2.8 billion (10th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $1.8 billion ($183.72 per adult)
    • Median household income: $65,030 (15th highest)
  14. Indiana
    • Lottery spending per adult: $222.19 (18th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $1.1 billion (19th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $774.4 million ($152.06 per adult)
    • Median household income: $55,746 (17th lowest)
  15. Iowa
    • Lottery spending per adult: $145.83 (13th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $352.2 million (13th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $215.6 million ($89.27 per adult)
    • Median household income: $59,955 (25th highest)
  16. Kansas
    • Lottery spending per adult: $110.29 (6th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $242.7 million (10th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $149.7 million ($68.03 per adult)
    • Median household income: $58,218 (21st lowest)
  17. Kentucky
    • Lottery spending per adult: $269.01 (19th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $925.3 million (21st highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $628.8 million ($182.82 per adult)
    • Median household income: $50,247 (7th lowest)
  18. Louisiana
    • Lottery spending per adult: $120.13 (11th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $429.5 million (15th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $242.9 million ($67.96 per adult)
    • Median household income: $47,905 (5th lowest)
  19. Maine
    • Lottery spending per adult: $229.56 (21st lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $248.3 million (11th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $171.8 million ($158.79 per adult)
    • Median household income: $55,602 (16th lowest)
  20. Maryland
    • Lottery spending per adult: $409.77 (8th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $1.9 billion (13th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $1.3 billion ($286.88 per adult)
    • Median household income: $83,242 (the highest)
  21. Massachusetts
    • Lottery spending per adult: $926.71 (the highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $5.1 billion (4th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $3.7 billion ($668.52 per adult)
    • Median household income: $79,835 (4th highest)
  22. Michigan
    • Lottery spending per adult: $387.72 (10th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $3 billion (8th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $2 billion ($262.52 per adult)
    • Median household income: $56,697 (20th lowest)
  23. Minnesota
    • Lottery spending per adult: $120.13 (10th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $514 million (17th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $351.7 million ($82.19 per adult)
    • Median household income: $70,315 (13th highest)
  24. MississippiState lottery not in effect in 2017
    • Lottery spending per adult: N/A
    • Total lottery ticket sales: N/A
    • Prize money awarded: N/A
    • Median household income: $44,717 (2nd lowest)
  25. Missouri
    • Lottery spending per adult: $267.50 (20th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $1.3 billion (17th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $932.1 million ($197.23 per adult)
    • Median household income: $54,478 (12th lowest)
  26. Montana
    • Lottery spending per adult: $77.05 (4th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $63.2 million (3rd lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $33.7 million ($41.04 per adult)
    • Median household income: $55,328 (13th lowest)
  27. Nebraska
    • Lottery spending per adult: $112.55 (7th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $162.7 million (8th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $101.9 million ($70.50 per adult)
    • Median household income: $59,566 (25th lowest)
  28. NevadaNo state lottery
    • Lottery spending per adult: N/A
    • Total lottery ticket sales: N/A
    • Prize money awarded: N/A
    • Median household income: $58,646 (22nd lowest)
  29. New Hampshire
    • Lottery spending per adult: $264.63 (21st highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $287 million (12th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $191.8 million ($176.82 per adult)
    • Median household income: $74,991 (7th highest)
  30. New Jersey
    • Lottery spending per adult: $427.65 (6th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $3 billion (9th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $2 billion ($280.71 per adult)
    • Median household income: $81,740 (2nd highest)
  31. New Mexico
    • Lottery spending per adult: $78.86 (5th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $126 million (5th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $67.2 million ($42.03 per adult)
    • Median household income: $47,169 (4th lowest)
  32. New York
    • Lottery spending per adult: $530.72 (4th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $8.3 billion (the highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $4.6 billion ($295.56 per adult)
    • Median household income: $67,844 (14th highest)
  33. North Carolina
    • Lottery spending per adult: $283.31 (18th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $2.3 billion (12th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $1.5 billion ($193.50 per adult)
    • Median household income: $53,855 (11th lowest)
  34. North Dakota
    • Lottery spending per adult: $45.27 (the lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $26.4 million (2nd lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $14.3 million ($24.60 per adult)
    • Median household income: $63,837 (18th highest)
  35. Ohio
    • Lottery spending per adult: $310.93 (14th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $2.8 billion (11th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $1.9 billion ($210.90 per adult)
    • Median household income: $56,111 (18th lowest)
  36. Oklahoma
    • Lottery spending per adult: $51.02 (2nd lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $151.5 million (6th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $73.3 million ($24.70 per adult)
    • Median household income: $51,924 (8th lowest)
  37. Oregon
    • Lottery spending per adult: $308.15 (15th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $1 billion (20th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $217.2 million ($66.43 per adult)
    • Median household income: $63,426 (19th highest)
  38. Pennsylvania
    • Lottery spending per adult: $366.98 (12th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $3.7 billion (7th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $2.6 billion ($255.24 per adult)
    • Median household income: $60,905 (21st highest)
  39. Rhode Island
    • Lottery spending per adult: $622.50 (2nd highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $530.8 million (19th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $157 million ($184.16 per adult)
    • Median household income: $64,340 (17th highest)
  40. South Carolina
    • Lottery spending per adult: $387.57 (11th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $1.5 billion (15th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $1.1 billion ($276.90 per adult)
    • Median household income: $52,306 (9th lowest)
  41. South Dakota
    • Lottery spending per adult: $232.52 (22nd lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $152.6 million (7th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $28.7 million ($43.78 per adult)
    • Median household income: $56,274 (19th lowest)
  42. Tennessee
    • Lottery spending per adult: $261.32 (22nd highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $1.4 billion (16th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $948.3 million ($182.10 per adult)
    • Median household income: $52,375 (10th lowest)
  43. Texas
    • Lottery spending per adult: $229.29 (20th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $4.8 billion (5th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $3.3 billion ($155.56 per adult)
    • Median household income: $60,629 (24th highest)
  44. UtahNo state lottery
    • Lottery spending per adult: N/A
    • Total lottery ticket sales: N/A
    • Prize money awarded: N/A
    • Median household income: $71,414 (12th highest)
  45. Vermont
    • Lottery spending per adult: $227.08 (19th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $114.9 million (4th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $79.6 million ($157.44 per adult)
    • Median household income: $60,782 (22nd highest)
  46. Virginia
    • Lottery spending per adult: $284.45 (17th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $1.9 billion (14th highest)
    • Prize money awarded: $1.2 billion ($183.93 per adult)
    • Median household income: $72,577 (10th highest)
  47. Washington
    • Lottery spending per adult: $116.92 (8th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $673.3 million (22nd lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $499.3 million ($86.70 per adult)
    • Median household income: $74,073 (9th highest)
  48. West Virginia
    • Lottery spending per adult: $422.99 (7th highest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $610.1 million (21st lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $512 million ($354.92 per adult)
    • Median household income: $44,097 (the lowest)
  49. Wisconsin
    • Lottery spending per adult: $125.96 (12th lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $568.9 million (20th lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $363 million ($80.37 per adult)
    • Median household income: $60,773 (23rd highest)
  50. Wyoming
    • Lottery spending per adult: $57.43 (3rd lowest)
    • Total lottery ticket sales: $25.3 million (the lowest)
    • Prize money awarded: $14.5 million ($32.85 per adult)
    • Median household income: $61,584 (20th highest)

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23 comments. Last comment 10 months ago by EdG1955.
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Avatar
Florida
United States
Member #186825
January 2, 2018
292 Posts
Offline

I spend about $500 a year on lottery.

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    25
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #17842
    June 28, 2005
    130346 Posts
    Offline

    In addition to Lottery Spending Sorted Alphabetically by State it would be nice to see a List of Lottery Spending  Sorted by Lottery Spending per Adult!

    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

      music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
      USN United States Navy
      Fresno, California
      United States
      Member #157851
      August 2, 2014
      3959 Posts
      Offline

      Maryland has the highest Median Income. After a big win I might move there. Depends.

       "We are all in this together!" 

        Avatar
        New Member
        Eugene, OR
        United States
        Member #186914
        January 5, 2018
        5 Posts
        Offline

        I moved from Oregon a few months back, so Oregon's "Total Lottery Ticket Sales" should go down dramatically next year Big Smile

          grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
          Win Today.
          bel air maryland
          United States
          Member #90247
          April 24, 2010
          9425 Posts
          Offline

          Maryland has the highest Median Income. After a big win I might move there. Depends.

          Mass, W.Va. and Ga. have the three highest amounts paid to players. W.Va., and Ga. are the only states in the $300's and Mass. is over $600. WOW!

          "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

          The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

            music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
            USN United States Navy
            Fresno, California
            United States
            Member #157851
            August 2, 2014
            3959 Posts
            Offline

            Mass, W.Va. and Ga. have the three highest amounts paid to players. W.Va., and Ga. are the only states in the $300's and Mass. is over $600. WOW!

            West Virginia is among the poorest States. Good Old Jack, Andrew Jackson "Jack" Whitaker and his family found that out the hard way.

              Jack won a record amount but still did not have enough money to help everyone. Then they turned on him.

             "We are all in this together!" 

              cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

              United States
              Member #197033
              March 28, 2019
              541 Posts
              Offline

              10 highest:

              1. MA
              2. RI
              3. DE
              4. NY
              5. GA
              6. NJ
              7. WV
              8. MD
              9. CT
              10. MI

              ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

                mikeintexas's avatar - h87TsB4
                Texas Panhandle
                United States
                Member #136839
                December 20, 2012
                1660 Posts
                Offline

                I moved from Oregon a few months back, so Oregon's "Total Lottery Ticket Sales" should go down dramatically next year Big Smile

                ROFL

                After my pop quit drinking, I think a couple of liquor stores here in town went out of business.

                Epstein didn't kill himself.

                  mikeintexas's avatar - h87TsB4
                  Texas Panhandle
                  United States
                  Member #136839
                  December 20, 2012
                  1660 Posts
                  Offline

                  Maryland has the highest Median Income. After a big win I might move there. Depends.

                  By the time I win, I will be needing Depends.  At least I will be able to afford them.

                    Avatar
                    Billionaires Row 57th street Manhattan
                    United States
                    Member #197346
                    April 9, 2019
                    5084 Posts
                    Offline

                    The percentage of Millionaires in US is just 5-6 percent of the entire population...Which is between 17-19 Million

                    How many millionaires the Lottery created in the US in its history...Any guesses ?? My guess is somewhere around 3,000-5,000 in US lotteries history including all games and scratchers

                    In 2018 US lottery revenue was I think $80 Billion

                    I will request Todd to do the same report for 2018 and for 2019 if possible at the end of the year

                      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                      100
                      Zeta Reticuli Star System
                      United States
                      Member #30469
                      January 17, 2006
                      11498 Posts
                      Offline

                      10 highest:

                      1. MA
                      2. RI
                      3. DE
                      4. NY
                      5. GA
                      6. NJ
                      7. WV
                      8. MD
                      9. CT
                      10. MI

                      Thanks for the list cottoneyesdJoe

                      Six of the 10 highest in the Northeast (counting NJ and DE as Northeast) no surprise there.

                      ////////////////////

                      Raven62

                      More specific than this?

                      New Jersey

                      • Lottery spending per adult:  $427.65 (6th highest)

                      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

                      Lep

                      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                        Avatar
                        Kentucky
                        United States
                        Member #32651
                        February 14, 2006
                        8966 Posts
                        Offline

                        10 highest:

                        1. MA
                        2. RI
                        3. DE
                        4. NY
                        5. GA
                        6. NJ
                        7. WV
                        8. MD
                        9. CT
                        10. MI

                        Was looking at the "average loss per year" and Wyoming wins by a landslide with $24.58. They average losing less than 18 cents a day.

                          Droptop209's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                          Modesto, California
                          United States
                          Member #193983
                          November 24, 2018
                          19 Posts
                          Offline

                          Cool read

                            TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
                            Brooklyn, NY
                            United States
                            Member #169719
                            October 29, 2015
                            1490 Posts
                            Offline

                            If you figure that most (not all) people buy at least one ticket for each MM and PB draw at $2 each, that's $8 per week  right there.

                            Then add another ticket or two for local state lottery drawing at $1-2 each.

                            And then possibly add tickets purchased for Cash4Life or Lucky-for-Life @ $2 each.

                            Then there's the occasional scratch ticket to boot.

                            The way I figure, it's about $20 or more per week. So $285 is a low per year estimate, but since it averages in those adults that don't play, it lowers the average amount spent on lottery by most people.

                            I would say the average amount spent on lottery tickets by those buying lottery tickets would be somewhere between $1,500 - $2,500 per year.

                            The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

                            “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

                            Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot