1.5 Billion Reasons To Play The Lottery

play-the-lotteryOne of the most exciting gambling opportunities in the United States is playing the lottery. There are several popular lottery games available including Mega Millions and Powerball. The lottery is not available in every state within the U.S., but most players have the ability to visit a neighboring state to purchase tickets.

With the most recent massive jackpot involving the Mega Millions lottery, players were purchasing tickets in record numbers in the hopes of being the lucky winner. Let’s take a look at how the lottery works, the odds of winning, and some of the reasons why people like to play this fun game.

Mega Millions And Powerball Lottery

On October 23rd, the $1.537 billion Mega Millions lottery drawing resulted in a single winning ticket sold in South Carolina. The winning numbers on Tuesday nights drawing were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and a Mega Ball of 5.

The estimated cash option was a lump-sum payment of $878 million before taxes. The winner has yet to come forward, although we may never know who it is since South Carolina is one of seven states where the winner can remain anonymous.

Powerball Jackpot Rises To $750 Million

After Wednesday night’s drawing, the Powerball jackpot climbed to $750 million, possibly the fourth-largest lottery jackpot in the history of the United States. The potential winner can opt to take the prize in a lump sum of $428 million before taxes. Unlike Mega Millions, only a handful of states allow you to claim Powerball wins anonymously.

How Does The Lottery Work?

mega-millions-lotteryIn the United States, players have access to lottery gaming in 45 states as well as within the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In a multi-state lottery game, like Powerball or Mega Millions, the jackpots are huge and the odds of winning are very low. For example in Mega Millions, the person must pick five numbers between 1 and 70, plus an Easy Pick number between 1 and 25.

States can choose to legalize lottery gaming, using the games to generate revenues to use as they see fit. In most states, lottery revenues go towards education programs and/or scholarships as well as helping with senior assistance, roadway building, etc.

Can You Win The Lottery?

So, what are the odds of winning the lottery? The odds are always a long-shot for anyone to win. For example, with the recent Mega Millions jackpot of $1.5 billion, the odds of winning were 1 in 302.5 million. To put that in perspective, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning (odds: 1 in 700,000).

Most people know in their heart that they won’t win, but having even the slightest chance is what keeps players lining up to buy their tickets and hoping to see their numbers drawn. Eventually, a jackpot is hit, so if you don’t try, then you never have a shot!

4 Reasons People Play The Lottery

Despite statistical evidence that the chances of winning the lottery are extremely small, people still keep playing. Here are some of the reasons why people like to play the lottery:

Entertainment: Some people look at the lottery as a fun option for entertainment. They like the thrill of a scratch-off card or like to get excited when the numbers are being drawn in the Mega Millions. This type of player doesn’t look at the monetary value but just enjoys playing.
Near Misses: For some players, almost winning is a sure sign that they are going to win. If they hit four out of six numbers they may be encouraged to try again. Players might think: “I was so close this time, maybe I’ll land on it next time.” This gives the person the illusion that they are getting closer.
Gambler’s Fallacy: This is the belief that because a win hasn’t happened in a while, one is “due”. People will choose their numbers based on certain aspects such as ones that occur most often or numbers that have not shown up in a while because they think they have a better chance of appearing in the next drawing.
Excitement: For some, playing the lottery has an excitement factor. They know that they could win millions of dollars and the possibility is extremely exciting. These players simply enjoy the game for the thrill of the win.

Lottery Legislation In The States

multi-state-lottery-associationIt’s no surprise that Americans love to play the lottery. With all but six states offering lottery games, it is not uncommon for jackpots to reach hundreds of millions of dollars or even billions. In total, 45 states have passed legislation to allow lottery gaming to take place, along with three jurisdictions including the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

Regulating bodies are in place within each state to ensure games are fair, that prizes are awarded as they should be, and that the lottery revenues go towards the appropriate fund. There is also the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), an American non-profit, government-benefit association that is in charge of running lottery games, most notably Powerball.

Fun fact: In the United States, the East Coast tends to spend more money on lottery tickets, on average. Massachusetts being the state where players spend the most

Online Lottery Games

Keno DrawThe internet and cell phones have changed the face of many industries, including the gambling and casino business sector. Several states have also decided to legalize online lottery gaming.  States such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Kentucky have passed legislation to allow online gambling.

The rise of online casinos has enabled more players to participate. There’s no need to visit a land-based casino; customers can simply log into an online casino on their laptop or mobile device and play wherever they want. Online games such as Keno Draw and Scratcherz can be found at popular casino sites.

Tip: If you want to play one of these games, you can check out our Real Money Lottery Page for a full selection of online lottery games.

Why Should You Play The Lottery?

The question really should be, why wouldn’t you? Lottery games are fun and exciting, offering players the possibility of winning life-altering cash prizes. From just a few dollars to billions, players can hit jackpots. Whether you play for the thrill of the game or for the chance of being the next big winner, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t give the lottery a try!

About the Author
Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price - Researcher / Writer

Passionate about writing and loves using her creativity to provide insight into the interesting gambling world.