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The Real Cost of the Lottery

By Lewis Braham - 2012-11-28T21:32:58Z

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

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U.S. lotteries had $60.8 billion in sales of traditional lottery products for the year ending June 30, 2012, according to The North American Association of State & Provincial Lotteries (NASPL). About 57 percent of American adults over the age of 18--some 134 million people--play every year. That's $454 in annual ticket sales per player. According to the NASPL, about 20 percent of players account for 70 percent of sales, so the typical player spends some $1,400 a year.