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The States That Love Playing the Lottery the Most Revealed

February 8, 2020 | Lottery News

USA — According to the American Gaming Association, 2018 was a record-breaking year for gambling, generating $41.7 billion in gaming revenue. This was the highest-ever annual total — and it looks like Americans are only upping the ante.

The U.S. Supreme Court started allowing legalized sports betting in most states in 2018, with half of Americans now living in states where sports gambling will be fair game. Online gambling is also on the rise.

With the increased use of smartphones and high-speed internet, online gambling makes it far easier for people to bet from the safety of their own homes.

The acceptance of gambling within our culture is also steadily increasing. According to a 2018 poll by Gallup, 69% of Americans say gambling is morally acceptable — the highest level of acceptance in the 16 years of the survey. And with the average American spending $288.06 on lottery tickets per year, it’s clear that many people love to press their luck.

To figure out which states enjoy playing the lottery the most, GOBankingRates analyzed lottery ticket sales and prize data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This study also looked at data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) 2018 National Capability survey, with respondents answering a variety of questions, including, “Over the past 12 months, approximately how often did you buy a lottery ticket?”

The states are ranked from least to most spent per capita annually on lottery tickets and include only the top 22 states. Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah do not have a lottery system and were excluded from this study. You may be surprised to learn that some of America’s smaller states are more willing to gamble the most money away.

Tennessee

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $264.27

Tennessee residents spent more than $1.36 billion on lottery tickets in 2017 alone, with the total winnings at $948.33 million.

New Hampshire

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $265.50

Based on the FINRA survey, 15% of New Hampshire residents said they purchase a lottery ticket about once a month. This is four percentage points higher than the national average.

Missouri

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $268.69

Twenty-one is the most frequently drawn number in the Missouri Lottery at 349 times as of Jan. 24, 2020. Missourians also spent over $1.2 billion on lottery tickets in 2017.

Kentucky

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $269.91

Ten percent of Kentuckians have bought a lottery ticket within the past week. Their overall 2017 winnings totaled nearly $629 million.

Virginia

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $286.86

Lottery winnings in Virginia reached $1.4 billion in 2019. Luckily, all Virginia Lottery profits have been used for public education across the state.

North Carolina

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $287.25

Four percent of state residents buy a lottery ticket every day. North Carolinians spent $2.26 billion on lottery tickets in 2017, with winners taking home a total of $1.54 billion.

Illinois

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $287.42

The Illinois Lottery website boasts that the state lottery has contributed over $21 billion in revenue since 1985. Citizens of Illinois spent over $2.84 billion on lottery tickets in 2017 alone.

Ohio

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $312.06

Ohio is the first state to cross the $300-per-person mark. Total winnings in the state are over $1.9 billion, with Ohioans spending over $2.8 billion on lottery tickets in 2017.

Oregon

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $313.44

While over half of Oregon’s lottery funds go to public education, it also helps other state programs, with 25.5% going to economic development and job creation and 15% going to state parks and natural resources. What’s more, 1% of funds are allocated for problem gambling treatment.

Florida

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $353.77

Florida had the second-highest total in lottery ticket sales in the study at over $5.82 billion in 2017 alone. Surprisingly, 40% of Florida residents said they hadn’t bought a single lottery ticket in the last year, according to the FINRA survey.

Pennsylvania

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $367.88

Total traditional game sales were more than $4.5 billion as of June 2019, with over 66% of sales from scratch-offs.

Michigan

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $388.97

The Michigan Lottery provided $941.3 million for education in 2018, with $2.5 million going to schools every day.

South Carolina

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $393.90

South Carolina Lottery money goes straight to higher education programs, with nearly $4.25 billion going toward student scholarships. Lottery ticket sales totaled $1.52 billion in 2017 alone.

Connecticut

Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $405.91

Residents of Connecticut spend $141.64 more per person on lottery tickets than Tennessee residents, with lottery ticket sales totalling almost $1.15 billion in 2017.

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance.

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