Do you play the lottery?

I answered no because I haven’t played for over a decade. I started to play 5-10 numbers a week back then, but after the third week I won a bit over $100 by getting 4 out of 6 numbers, so I decided to quit while I was ahead.

Look, I’m not going to be embarassed by the reality of the math. One of my former co-workers called it an “idiot tax”. Fine. I’ll pay mine.

I buy them for the possibility of winning money that would change my life, and for the “what if” feel good mental exercise.

Frankly, I know a lot of people who scorn the lottery and people who buy lottery tickets, but piss away far larger amounts of money on things a lot less worthwhile. Most of the people I work with smoke. They throw away more money every day on the prospect of giving themselves cancer than I spend on lottery tickets in a week. Which is worse? I know people who go to bars every fucking night and piss away their money on beer and alcohol. I had a former co-worker who liked to make fun of me for buying Powerball tickets, but he and his wife would go to the casino once or twice a week and piss away more money in one day than I spend on the lottery in a year.

Hell, half my co-workers suck down energy drinks out of the vending machine like they were water. They spend more on that than I spend on the lottery. For that matter, I buy my Cherry Coke on sale and bring in one can a day that costs me about 30 cents when they’re buying 20 oz bottles from the machine for $1.25 or $1.50 every day.

Look, you have your hobbies and I have mine. One of my rather inexpensive hobbies is a couple of lottery tickets every week.

Yeah, once in a while … Read notfrommensa’s post, and substitute ‘Texas’ for ‘Missouri’, and you’ll have basically what I would have written.

So, what’s the disagreement this poll is supposed to settle? If I may ask.

I don’t smoke, I don’t run around with godless women, so I toss a few bucks at the lottery when it gets large. Big whoop. Fantasies cost money.

Not if you hang around with suitibly godless women, they don’t.

My guess is “Do more people play the lottery than not?” It’s been interesting watching the poll, almost exactly 50/50 with a slight edge to Yes.

I never buy lottery tickets but I figure I have a chance of winning - I’ll just find a lottery ticket lying on the street one day and I’ll pick it up and it’ll be the grand prize winner.

Sure the odds against this happening are pretty slim. But they’re not much worse than your odds and I didn’t spend a dollar.

I used to play when the old 6/44 was the only game. Odds were astronomical then. When they changed it to 6/48 with a power ball, the odds became infinity in my mind. The Lotto is all about creating a mis-perception of the reality of odds. I could never fool myself after the odds became that long. I no longer have a use for the money anyway.

I buy tickets. I’ve won trivial amounts on occasion. If they cost any more than $1 I wouldn’t bother. I can afford to waste $1 once in a while. And I doubt I will ever win. The odds only increase slightly from buying a ticket.

I don’t pay regularly. I’m sure there have been years when I didn’t play at all. But once in awhile I’ll throw in, if I happen to get the urge when I’m standing in the right spot.

It probably ranges somewhere between $0 and $20/year.

Pretty much exactly what notfrommensa said, with the exception that I only do quick-picks. My “habit” probably amounts to maybe $1-3 a year.

I’ve played fewer than 10 tickets. I voted yes.

I have nothing against the lottery, but I can’t remember a single time I’ve actually bought a ticket.

I play with a group of people from work. I know the odds but it’s a cheap bonding exercise and if they won and I was left alone with this death march of a project I would have to quit and find a new job.

It’s like car insurance except I hope it pays off :wink:

Your answers will be skewed because not every state has a lottery.

I have never purchased a lottery ticket in my 51 years of living. Even if the state had one (which it doesn’t), I don’t think I would do it.

Even if I go into a casino for some reason, I will drop a quarter or two in the machines but that’s it. I’ve never put more than $1 in them.

Nah. I ran a convienence store for a long time, and as a result, I can’t stand them. Way too many annoying customers using me as a one-armed bandit. Which is considerably less fun than it sounds.

That said, if they treat it as entertainment, fair play to them. I don’t enjoy it, but that’s no reason others shouldn’t.

I DO get genuinely annoyed, very rapidly, when people start arguing how it’s really not a bad investment (it is) or that it’s rigged, (‘overall odds of winning better than 1 in 5’ does not mean you’ll make a profit if you buy five) or that they’re somehow being cheated when they don’t win.

A very common complaint was “How come almost all the winners are in Eastern MA?” Well, clearly the lottery is engaged in a fiendish, Illuminati-esqe corruption scam, to enrich the better connected eastern part of the state. Which they have managed to flawlessly cover up. The core of this scam seems to be granting Eastern MA 80% of the state’s winners, by means of the diabolic stratagem of arranging Eastern MA to have 80% of the state’s people!!

The worst, worst ones were the ones who played out of what I can only describe as work ethic. They’ve been playing so long, invested so much time and energy into it, that they deserved to win.

The worst because I couldn’t hate them, annoying as they were. They were absolutely, soul-crushingly depressing.

I’ll save the full rant, though. It could get long.

I play it and I am well aware of the odds. I also know that a couple of dollars a week is not going to hurt me and it is the only way that I will be able to retire early and rich.

The quick answer: how prevalent the practice of playing the lottery is.

The detailed answer:
My boyfriend won a thousand dollars in the lottery this weekend. He only plays occasionally, but I insisted that he should stop playing altogether so he can be one of the lucky few who gets more money out of the lottery than what they put in.

My boyfriend protested that buying lottery tickets is a widely accepted way to spend money, and that probably 90% of the population has bought a lottery ticket at some point. He later reduced his estimate to 60-70%, and when I continued to protest, he told me to start a poll asking if people ever played the lottery, and if I got more no responses than yeses, he would quit playing the lottery.

Unfortunately, because this poll got more yes responses, he will not stop playing, but at least it didn’t skew as heavily towards the yes responses as he had predicted. Thanks for participating!

Never with my own money. I only ever buy lottery tickets with money I found on the street.
( )

I just want to add to my post after reading what some others have said.
Yes, the chances of winning are really slight, to say the least.
That said, my SO had a really good friend who did win the lottery in Germany - the big prize - several million dollars! He bought a condo, two cars (including a Mercedes limo), and invested in his lover’s printing business. Granted, the business failed and he later sold one of the cars - but he still has that gorgeous condo in Berlin to this day. It changed his life, mostly for the better.
The point of this is - yes, the odds are against you, but people do win (even friends), so we have seen first hand that it is not impossible…