Stats About the Lottery Industry in the United States


To get an idea of how much the lottery industry is worth, we examined lottery statistics in the United States. We also looked at participation rates by income groups. In addition, we examined the costs of participating in the lottery. The statistics were eye-opening. Read on to learn more. Posted below are some key facts about the lottery industry in the U.S.

Overview of U.S. lotteries

The US lotteries have been around for a while. New Hampshire was the first state to create a lottery in 1964. Since then, spending on lotteries has increased and jackpots have grown. You may even have purchased a Powerball ticket during the record-setting drawing in January 2016.

Today, US lotteries are conducted by 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands. There is no single national lottery organization that regulates lotteries. State lotteries often collaborate to organize games that span larger geographic footprints and carry larger jackpots. Most jurisdictions offer the Mega Millions and Powerball games.


Stats of Lottery play show that, in America, one out of four people plays the lottery at least once every month. People who play the lottery often buy several tickets, especially if the jackpot is big. According to a Gallup survey, 54 percent of Americans have played the lottery in the past year. The highest percentage of lottery players are non-Hispanic whites, followed by blacks and Native Americans. Young people between the ages of 18 and twenty-one play the lottery more often than any other group.

Using mathematical methods, lottery statistics can be used to calculate the likelihood of winning a lottery game. For example, the number of balls in the lottery game is multiplied by the number of picks to determine the odds of winning a jackpot. If a ticket contains six numbers that match the lottery numbers, then it is a jackpot winner.


There are numerous costs associated with operating a lottery. The state requires Lottery companies to spend at least fifteen percent of their gross revenues on operating expenses, and advertising costs cannot exceed two percent of sales. Gross revenues are defined as the total value of Ticket sales plus interest or other revenues, minus any amount transferred to the Department of Revenue in lieu of sales taxes. According to the most recent figures, operating expenses were at 14.1 percent in 2002 and 14.2 percent in 2003.

The Minnesota lottery’s costs are far higher than the average of similar state lotteries. Minnesota’s lottery spent over six times as much on promotions in 2002 as other comparable states, had six times as many employees per million dollars in sales, and spent more than two times as much on personnel and office space. Overall, Minnesota’s lottery costs were significantly higher than the average of eight state lotteries.

Participation by income group

A recent study examined participation rates by income group in state-sponsored lotteries. It found that, on average, households with higher incomes spent about $105 per year on lottery tickets, roughly a quarter of the average amount spent by households with low incomes. As a result, state-sponsored lotteries have become a lucrative source of state revenue. However, while state officials have touted the benefits of lottery proceeds, there are also some concerns regarding the impact of lottery play on low-income consumers. For instance, low-income individuals often replace other forms of entertainment with lottery play. In addition, low-income consumers may view lottery play as an easy way to improve their living standards. Further, in bad times, people may feel desperation and turn to the lottery as a means to escape their situations.