The Good and Bad of National Lotteries

National Lotteries
Wednesday April 17, 2019 11:35 am

The Lottery Lab Staff

Lotteries are known to bring big business to states. Players dream of life-changing cash prizes and in result millions of people purchase lottery tickets. Mega Millions and Powerball are the two most popular lotteries in the US. The revenue generated by these lotteries is used to fund education, park services, and even support veterans and seniors. In 2016, national lotteries generated about $72,649,684,000 which was unexpectantly huge!

As a mathematical fact, your chances of winning any gambling game are slim but the popularity of national games in the US has made it even more difficult to win any windfall. However, Americans still invested more than $72 billion and the sales continue to grow. There is still an ongoing debate about lotteries. Here are the arguments against and in favor of national lotteries.

Argument against national lotteries

Over the last few decades, the most interesting consequence of national lottery is the rise in syndicates purchasing lottery tickets in bulk to “buy” the jackpot. This is proof that Americans are looking for innovative ways to overcome the odds and win the jackpot, even if it means investing massive amounts of money. There are various well-known syndicates who have won the jackpots or a significant amount in lotteries by purchasing tickets in bulk.  This raises questions from investigators and makes us wonder whether the syndicates could utilize their money more effectively.

Another consequence of national lotteries is that the public questions the effect of the lottery on people’s behavior. Many organizations claim that playing the lottery can be addictive and people might end up spending more than they can afford. Also, winning a huge sum of money can inspire any number of extreme emotive reactions and there are instances where winning the jackpot has triggered a serious decline in the quality of life of winners and their families.

Argument for national lotteries

Last year, 2018, there were 5 Mega Millions jackpot winners. The last known winner was from Santa Clara Country, who took $543 million on July 24, 2018, through an office pool. After that, the Mega Million jackpot reached over $1.6 billion and the winning ticket was sold in South Carolina. The winner hasn’t come forward yet but the ticket is still valid through April 2019.

The average American buys $223 worth of lottery tickets annually. With the large majority of people only purchasing tickets when the payout rises this suggests that players play responsibly and consider various factors carefully before spending their money.

Another factor in favor of the national lottery is the revenue they generate and give back to the community for education, public-funded projects, and other community development programs. There are people who play the lottery because they know they contributing to society, directly or indirectly. In terms of monetary value, approximate 34 cents out of every $1 spent on lottery tickets is invested into public projects, with 58 cents being paid to winners and 6 cents to participating retailers for sales commissions.

Conclusion

National lotteries across the country are likely to continue to be the subject of controversy and opinion. The fact remains, however, that participants are individually accountable for playing the game responsibly and spend their money accordingly. As long as you spend your money responsibly, before and after winning a jackpot, lotteries are just a game. Moreover, it is contributing to state and national funding.