Cyprus Mail

Do you spend more on the lottery than you think? New research reveals the true cost of playing the lottery

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The roots of the lottery culture can be traced to the Roman Empire where emperors used to host parties and gift their guests in the form of a lottery. The first recorded lottery is keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty. It is said that the keno slips helped finance the construction of the Great Wall of China. 

As of now, many states endorse lottery schemes, calling it a great way to generate significant revenue while others have banned it as it is a kind of gambling. The individual reviews on lottery schemes are also mixed as some people think of lotteries as a smart way to generate passive income while others believe it is a form of usury. 

That being said, many states, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, India, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates, successfully run lottery schemes. In fact, their lottery schemes contribute a significant amount of money to their GDP; thus, it has become a significant part of state earnings.

How much money is wasted on lottery tickets? 

The question is, how much do people spend on lottery tickets? Is it a reasonable figure? Well, the figures vary from one country to another. According to the Lottery Commission UK, approximately £14.5 billion was spent on lottery tickets in the UK between 2017 and 2018. Lottery schemes in the UK generate more revenue than sports and horse race betting. 

The United States of America is also in the same boat. As per research, the annual sales of state lottery tickets are usually around $77.3 billion and the number of people who gamble on lottery tickets is increasing by the day. It is further reported by the US. Census Bureau that on average an American spends $412 on lottery tickets every year. The survey also reveals that most Americans play the lottery at least twice a week. 

Similarly, the lottery system is deeply embedded in the Indian roots, too. Although the Indian Government has banned lottery in a lot of Indian States, many still allow lottery schemes. One of them happens to be Kerala, which is known as a pivot point of the lottery schemes. As mentioned by research, the Indian lottery industry is worth INR 50,000 crore, roughly $63 million.

Moreover, many European States are also quite faithful to the lottery culture. Germany, for example, runs a number of lottery schemes, including GlücksSpirale, Eurojackpot, and Deutscher Lotto-und Totoblock (DLTB). According to Häfner, 40% of the money from state lotteries is given to the Government of Germany. He further adds that the German Government makes €8.2 million daily from lottery schemes.

The same goes for Spain. In 2021, the average spending of one Spaniard on the lottery was €67.5 and as of 2022, it has increased to €68.48. The number of lottery ticket sales is also increasing at an alarming level. As per the consignment data, the lottery is placed by approximately 24 million Spanish citizens and almost 3000 lottery tickets are sold annually. Furthermore, statistics reveal that in 2019, the Spanish state lottery sales were worth €9 billion.

Sadly, all these lottery schemes serve as a zero-sum game for the governments of the respective countries and the lottery runners. The reason is that only 10% of the people who purchase lottery tickets actually win the lottery. For the rest of them, the money is usually wasted. Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that billions are wasted annually on lottery tickets across the globe. However, none of it helps change the affection people have for lottery schemes. 

Those who play the lottery still do, regardless of the fact that they rarely win. It has become more of a recreational sport for many people out there and for some, the hopes of becoming rich, and that too, the easier way, never die. Thus, they keep trying their luck, calling it a matter of fate and in this way, the jackpot of one, becomes the loss of others. 

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