Reasons People Play the Lottery

October 18th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Lotteries are available in many states within the United States. They help raise money for special state projects and infrastructure improvements that regular taxes do not cover. At the same time, many ethical questions are raised as it is a form of gambling. Both sides of the fence make valid points for and against the implementation of a state lottery. The reasons citizens play the lottery are numerous but the ultimate goal is to hit it big.

There are many reasons people play the lottery including:

  • Availability
  • Lack of required skill
  • Little fear of corruption
  • Small wagering requirements
  • Lotteries give the illusion of control
  • Non-monetary aspects of the game

Lotteries are readily available in more states than not. Therefore, if not in your home state, chances are there is a surrounding state that can accommodate your lottery needs. Also, unlike other forms of gambling, playing the lottery requires no skill whatsoever. The whole system is based on the “luck of the draw.” People like easy ways to potentially make money.

Another reasons citizen’s play the lottery is there is little fear of corruption. Since this is a government-run entity, there is little corruption within the lottery system. Additionally, the ability of playing the lottery is inexpensive. Therefore, they only need to play $1 to potentially win millions. Furthermore, lotteries give the illusion of control. You have the option to pick your own numbers which gives people that control feeling.

Finally, individuals enjoy the non-monetary aspects of the game as it forms a social bond with those that play. It gives you something to discuss, allows you to engage in a ritual purchasing pattern and creates dreams of hitting it big. This is the favorite activity among lottery players.

Ironically, the low odds of actually winning the lottery are overlooked by most players or they simply do not care. Research has proven that when humans are convinced a low probability event can occur they will overestimate the chances of winning despite the fact that the majority of players will never win.

Lotteries can raise money to do great things in different states. At the same time, it can spark addiction and obsessive patterns. Like anything else, there are good and bad aspects. Regardless of both aspects of the lottery, individuals are still willing to try their hand in the game for many different reasons.

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