27 February 2018

Game On

Game on! Why We Love to Play the Lottery 

As much as we would like to think that genders are equal in modern society, and even though it might not be politically correct to say it, when it comes to gaming and gambling there are significant differences between the sexes. 

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in Australia determined that "men were significantly more likely than women to gamble for social reasons or for general entertainment, while women were more likely to gamble for charity or because gambling relieved stress, loneliness and boredom." 

Men, it is said, are more likely than women to take risks. This is why, studies suggest, that men tend to favour sports betting, horse racing, and online gambling. This tendency can also explain why men play more poker than women, and on the other hand, why women are more attracted to other types of games, like bingo. 


But with the lottery, it seems that we all want to play the game. When the American Powerball lottery offered a record-breaking jackpot of $1.58 billion in January 2016, or when the other big American lottery Mega Millions offered its own incredible jackpot prize of $656 million in March 2012, there was a mad rush on ticket sales. Even those who had never previously purchased lottery tickets were eager to take a chance on winning such a huge, life-changing prize. 

Imagine what we could do if we won the lottery. Buy a new home. Travel the world. Go wild with a new sports car. Or two. If we would use our lottery windfall wisely, we would ensure our family’s financial security for a generation or two. 

The odds of winning a lottery jackpot are quite low, infinitesimal in fact. To win Powerball you would have to beat odds of 1:292,201,338, while in the UK, you only have a 1 in 1:45,057,474 chance. But winning the lottery doesn’t necessarily mean winning the jackpot. Lotteries offer a wide range of secondary prizes and the odds of winning one are significantly better. Many lotteries stage supplementary raffles, increasing the chances of winning a prize in a lottery draw. 
Whatever the odds, as insurmountable as they may see, we are not dissuaded from purchasing tickets. According to studies, 70 percent of UK adults play the lottery on a regular basis. And the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries determined that Americans spent a total of $70 billion on lottery tickets in 2016, more than they spent on sports tickets, books, video games, films, and music combined. 

Statistics aside, whenever lotteries offer incredible jackpot prizes, there is no difference between gender, age, or financial standing – we all hurry to purchase our lottery tickets. We know that if we don’t play the game, we won’t have a chance of winning the prize. 


Playing the lottery gives us a chance, as small as it might seem, of winning something very big. It’s a game we all want to play, so game on!

CARL
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