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Massachusetts Has Highest Per-Capita Spending On Lottery Tickets

Neon sign for Massachusetts Lottery
Jeremy Brooks
Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/jeremybrooks

The winning ticket of the $1.5 billion jackpot was bought in South Carolina, but it's actually people in  Massachusetts who get the biggest bang for their buck when they buy a lottery ticket. 

A study from LendEDU says Massachusetts spends the most on lottery tickets per capita at $763. The average American, in contrast, spends $223 a year on tickets.

Rich Parr, research director at the MassINC Polling Group, suggests why this might be.

"Massachusetts pays out a much larger share of the money that it takes in in private," Parr said. "So even though Massachusetts is a higher income state with higher education, and usually those two things indicate that people don't play the lottery as much, that may be offset in the case that the prizes that the lottery in Massachusetts offers are larger than they are in other states." 

The Massachusetts State Lottery told NEPR that 70 percent of lottery ticket sales are from scratch tickets -- which average a nearly 74 percent pay-off rate.

The prizes offered in Massachusetts are also higher than in other states.

Massachusetts was the first to offer instant lottery tickets in 1974.

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