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Who is buying Powerball and Mega Millions tickets?

If it seems like everyone is running out to buy lottery tickets this week, you're about half right.According t...

Posted: Jan 7, 2018 3:44 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2018 3:44 PM

If it seems like everyone is running out to buy lottery tickets this week, you're about half right.

According to a June 2017 survey conducted by Gallup, 49% of U.S. adults reported buying lottery tickets making it by far the most popular form of gambling in the United States.

The general belief is that poorer Americans buy lottery tickets more often than wealthier ones. But that's not quite true.

The survey showed the most frequent lottery players earn between $36,000 and $89,999. About 56% of that group bought tickets in the last year. Fewer of those making under $36,000 bought tickets, only 40%. About 53% who make above $90,000 bought a ticket.

But other studies have shown that when lower income players do buy tickets, they spend far more money on lottery tickets than wealthier players.

A study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies found that those in the bottom fifth of income spent the most on lottery tickets, and more than twice as much as the richest lottery players - $433 a year vs. $193 a year.

Related: What are your odds of winning Powerball or Mega Millions

The poorer lottery players also buy far more of the lower prize games, such as scratch-off instant games which account for the majority of lottery sales.

The richer buyers are buying the multi-state jackpot games such as Powerball and Mega Millions. And the wealthier players are likely to be drawn in by the big jackpot prizes like those being offered right now by both Powerball and Mega Millions.

"There's very clear evidence, as jackpots rise, there's a different group of people who are buying lottery tickets," said Victor Matheson, a professor at the College of Holy Cross and an expert on gambling. "While $1,000 prize on a scratch off game isn't going to be life changing to a wealthier player, a $500 million prize is real money for almost everyone in the United States."

Related: What tax reform means for the next big lottery winner

According to multiple surveys, men are more likely to buy tickets than women, and whites are also the most likely to buy tickets, though blacks spend more on tickets on average.

Census data on 2015 lottery ticket sales by state show that Massachusetts sells the most tickets per capita, an average of $735 per person in the state, according to analysis of the data by LendEDU. Neighboring Rhode Island is No. 2 with an average of $516. North Dakota sells the least per person, an average of only $34, followed by Oklahoma, which sells only $44 per resident, on average.

Younger people buy lottery tickets far more often than older people. The study in the Journal of Gambling Studies found that 69% of those age 31 to 40 bought lottery tickets, followed closely by 66% of those age 18 to 29. Those who are age 61 and older are the least likely to buy tickets at 54%.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 3255
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
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Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
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Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
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Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23129377
Mobile16849315
Tuscaloosa10296140
Montgomery10197197
Madison928096
Shelby733863
Baldwin663769
Lee653465
Calhoun456761
Marshall438150
Etowah426551
Houston414834
Morgan412035
DeKalb338829
Elmore320053
St. Clair292542
Limestone284230
Walker277292
Talladega265335
Cullman244024
Lauderdale226242
Jackson214915
Franklin205231
Autauga204831
Colbert200532
Russell19443
Blount192525
Chilton186932
Dallas186527
Coffee176311
Dale175151
Covington174029
Escambia172530
Chambers135044
Clarke134317
Pike133513
Tallapoosa131787
Marion107629
Barbour10319
Marengo100822
Butler100740
Winston92213
Geneva9007
Lawrence85032
Pickens84718
Bibb82814
Randolph82316
Hale76730
Washington74412
Clay74112
Cherokee73314
Lowndes70928
Henry7086
Bullock64817
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60630
Perry5896
Fayette57413
Wilcox56712
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Macon53420
Lamar4905
Sumter47221
Choctaw39012
Greene34216
Coosa2033
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