The Real Cost of the Lottery

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

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

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Operational Costs

All those "dollar and a dream" ads cost money. Some $2.6 billion went to lottery administration costs in 2010, which include marketing. That figure does not include commissions paid to vendors, such as convenience stores, for selling tickets. According to the NASPL, commissions range from 5 percent to 8 percent of ticket sales, depending on the jurisdiction and type of lottery. That's from $2.7 billion to $4.3 billion in 2010.