What Are the Latest Lottery Statistics?


Drawing lots to determine rights and ownership is recorded in many ancient documents. In the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, this method of determining rights and ownership became more common, especially in Europe. In the United States, lottery funding first became tied to the establishment of a settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. From this time on, lottery funds were used by private and public organizations to fund towns, wars, colleges, and public-works projects. The lottery has been around for over three centuries, and there are many myths and legends associated with it.


While lottery statistics are interesting, there is one fact that will be shocking to you: Americans spend more money on lottery tickets than any other form of entertainment. In 2014, Americans spent $70 billion on lottery tickets, nearly $300 per person. The poor spend the most on the lottery, accounting for nearly half of all purchases. However, even if you’re not rich, you can still win big by playing the lottery. So, what are the statistics?

Legal minimum age to play

The legal minimum age to play the lottery has been raised in Scotland to 18 from 16. This means that teenagers under the age of 16 are no longer able to play EuroMillions or purchase scratchcards. It is illegal for people under 18 to gamble, but until recently, any adult could participate in National Lottery games. In fact, the UK has the youngest EuroMillions winner ever, Jane Park. The change to the minimum age has had a mixed effect on the lottery industry.

Unclaimed winnings

In recent years, dozens of large lottery jackpots have gone unclaimed, including a $4.6 million prize in Massachusetts in 2002 and a $51.7 million prize in Indiana in 2006. In Connecticut, winning tickets have not expired for nearly a decade. This is the state’s unclaimed lottery prize fund. And while lottery officials brag about finding wayward winners, their efforts often fall short. In fact, 11 Connecticut lottery jackpots have gone unclaimed, according to the state’s lottery office.

Addiction to lottery winnings

People often become addicted to lottery winnings. They purchase more tickets than they need, put off other commitments, or even hide their winnings from family and friends. Often, they spend all their winnings before they’ve even considered putting them in the bank. In some cases, they even begin buying scratch-off tickets just to try their luck. While winning the lottery is fun, it’s also easy to get carried away and end up with a massive lottery debt.

Impact of lotteries on quality of life

One recent study analyzed data from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the German Socio-Economic Panel to investigate the impact of lottery winnings on quality of life. It found that lottery prizes have no significant effect on happiness immediately after a win, but a positive impact two years afterward. The authors speculated that these findings may be due to lottery winners persuading themselves that they deserve the prize. However, they noted that individuals do experience immediate feelings of happiness after receiving an inheritance or gift.