The Real Cost of the Lottery

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

Photograph by Jonathan Kirn/Getty Images

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Bankruptcy Lawyer

About 1 percent of lottery players go bankrupt every year, according to a 2010 study of Florida players by economists at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Kentucky, and Vanderbilt University. That's double the national bankruptcy rate for that year. Winners fared almost the same as losers. In fact, though in the short-term those who won less than $1,000 were more likely to file for bankruptcy than those who won between $100,000 and $150,000, within five years the biggest prizewinners were more likely to go bust. Millionaire winners weren't analyzed. A bankruptcy lawyer costs $100-plus an hour.