Texans Getting Dumber: More Are Playing the Lottery

Categories: Texas

Step right up.
In these tough economic times, there's no greater financial plan than putting your money into a game where the odds of winning are relatively microscopic.


Apparently that's what a lot of Texans think: This year, for the first time in ten years, there has been an increase in people playing the Texas Lottery, which is otherwise known as the tax on the mathematically challenged.

"The takeaway from this year's survey is that participation is up quite a bit, but average monthly spending per person is down," said Jim Granato of the University of Houston's Hobby Center for Public Policy, which conducted the legally mandated annual survey.

The study found that participation was up in 2011 by about 7 percent over 2010, and about 40 percent of Texans had purchased lottery tickets at some point during the year.

We assume the rest just took a match to their cash and mostly got the same results.

Those who played spent an average of $31.08 a month, down from $38.92 a month in 2010.

Participation rates were highest in the El Paso lottery district, followed by San Antonio and Lubbock. Participation rates were lowest in the Fort Worth lottery district.

Fort Worth: Home of common sense.

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Dudley "Booger" Dawson
Dudley "Booger" Dawson

Haters gonna hate huh?  Who cares if people spend their money on the lotto?  One of those people is gonna be happy they were stupid enough to play when they get the jackpot.  10 mill won is way better than 5 bucks saved.


While the mathematical odds of winning are extremely small, you improve your odds infinitely when you go from buying 0 tickets to 1 ticket.  You can't win if you don't play, but chances are you won't win if you do play.  Still, I spend $2 a week on the Texas Lotto to have a chance to win.

Richard Doll
Richard Doll

I have friends and acquaintances who like to gamble, and they're always telling me how they nearly always leave the casino a winner.  What they're really saying is "I'm so smart/pretty/clever/lucky/special etc. that the laws of mathematics do not apply to me!"


$5 per week x 52 weeks per year = $260/year.

That same $260, invested annually at a 5% return, will be a hair under $14,000 at the end of 25 years.  After 40 years, it is $40,000.

Now are you SURE the lottery ticket is better than the $5 saved?

Richard Doll
Richard Doll

rgwalt- you have a valid point.  Regardless of my other post concerning the wisdom of gambling, it's all about getting the appropriate entertainment value from your expenditure.  I'll buy 2 - 8 one dollar Texas Lotto or Mega Millions per month, as each one gives me a dollars worth of "dreams".  In fact I hate to check the numbers - once I do they've lost their "dream value".  I still have issues with the people who claim they win more than lose in any game of chance, unless they're playing a card game and manipulating the odds by counting cards...

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