Lotteries Are Losing Their Allure With Some Customers

Lottery sales are off in some states. Have buyers gotten bored with big jackpots?

Lotteries Are Losing Their Allure With Some Customers Photo (cc) by Insulinde

Fewer people are trying their luck at winning the lottery, in some states, at least.

According to Money columnist Brad Tuttle, lottery sales have slumped or aren’t meeting expectations in Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri. In Maryland, Powerball sales were 41 percent lower last month than they were a year ago.

Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, told The Baltimore Sun that Powerball players are likely experiencing “jackpot fatigue.”

Handily, Philly.com has published a list of the biggest lottery jackpots in U.S. history, and some of them were not very long ago. It added:

Recent years have rewritten the lottery record books, blowing away previous marks for jackpots for Powerball, Mega Millions and all U.S. lotteries, thanks to changes in the games. In early 2012, Powerball went to $2 tickets, and in October 2013, Mega Millions lengthened its odds, making jackpots much more likely to keep growing.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it’s difficult for state lotteries to maintain steady growth for the long term.

“It follows a life cycle like any product,” said Thomas Garrett, a University of Mississippi economist who studies lotteries. “You get this increase in sales. It peaks. People get used to it, and then you get this slowdown.”

According to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, Americans spent $78 billion on lottery sales in 2012. Government-operated lotteries are run in 44 states (Wyoming was the latest to join the list) and the District of Columbia.

In addition to apparent player boredom, Tuttle said some research suggests that new casinos have hurt lottery sales because they’re competing for the same consumer dollars.

I’ve never purchased a lottery ticket. I consider myself rather unlucky, so, for me, buying a ticket is akin to flushing money down the toilet. Which is true as well for just about everyone else who buys a ticket.

Do you play the lottery? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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