Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

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Coachrhino11
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Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Coachrhino11 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:38 pm

I'm sure this thread has been brought up before in the past, maybe not. Just curious how many Bogleheads actually budget lottery scratch offs as a monthly expense? I buy here and there with a sixes on a Friday on way home from work and feel like a loser, lol. My wife said I am a loser when flushing dollars. So...I'm very curious how many buy and if so how much per month and has anyone actually won more than a few dollars? I like the idea of having a chance to be financially independent at a young age. But the Texas Lotto is like 1:25 million or so and even weekly grand scratch is like 1:7.4 million. Pretty horrible odds!

TravelGeek
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by TravelGeek » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:39 pm

I don't. Never. I consider the lottery (and slot machines) a "tax" on those who didn't take enough math classes ;)

chonp3
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by chonp3 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:46 pm

I will pick up a few bucks worth on road trips while refueling. Yearly expense under $10

Afull
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Afull » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:53 pm

Rarely, but when I do the amount to win has to be somewhere near what the correct odds would be for what I spend. Even then I'd have to hope someone didn't use my copyrighted numbers so that I'd have to split the winnings...lol.

I don't budget for this small an amount of expense.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:57 pm

I admit to buying lottery tickets, because winning $50M or so would be interesting. Winning a few thousand dollars, or even a million, at better odds, has no allure.

I know the odds are long, but if I have a ticket, I can fantasize. It costs less than a movie ticket, and the fantasy is better.

OP, If it's causing an issue with your spouse, then you have a gambling problem, by my definition. It's not worth it.

stan1
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by stan1 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:03 pm

It's all a matter of degree. Is the budget $10/month? No big deal and may even be worth the investment if it helps you lead an optimistic, happy life. $100/month? Maybe, it depends. $1000/month? Addiction.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by ChrisC » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:05 pm

Gambling can be addictive. I have two addictive gamblers in my family. One gambled in casinos; the other primarily scratch-off and lottery tickets. One straightened himself out for the most part, after years of therapy, counseling, GA meetings, which he still attends. The other is a beginning work in progress, after ruining his marriage, losing his house to foreclosure, pissing away his retirement accounts, and owing the IRS lots of money; he did win twice for $2k and 5k, but must have lost over $1 million.

This thread should be shut down; it seems contrary to the community rules.

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Hyperborea
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Hyperborea » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:07 pm

I don't and never have but I know folks who do. As long as it's in the entertainment budget and not excessive I don't see the harm. A movie in the theatre costs $12 for about two hours. If you spend a $1 or $2 per week and get at least 20 minutes of entertainment imagining your winnings then it's no worse than going to a movie. My gran played weekly for years and it was cheap entertainment for her. She used to imagine what she would do and how she would help out her grandkids (myself and my siblings).

If it's so much that it interferes with being able to pay for real things or save for goals or obligations then it's a problem but no different than spending too much on other entertainment items.

obgraham
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by obgraham » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:12 pm

I think I bought one once, 7-8 years ago.

I think it was the same year I tossed a couple of quarters into a Las Vegas slot machine.

foamypirate
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by foamypirate » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:30 pm

I'll buy one, maybe two, a year, purely for the entertainment value. I have no expectations of ever winning a large prize.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:35 pm

I buy them around Xmas for the stockings. It's fun for my kids to scratch off a few tickets. Some years they won $20. Last year they got a free ticket, something like $4-$5. No biggie.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by 123 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:36 pm

We don't buy scratch offs. I spend $2 a week on my state's lotto ($1 twice a week). I buy advance play for 10 weeks at a time. I always use the same numbers (family birthdays). I check the results at my leisure when reading the paper. I figure if we're "destined" to win this is a reasonable approach. We don't gamble otherwise, we can visit Las Vegas to see relatives, go to the buffets and shows, and walk through a lot of casinos without gambling a cent.
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MidwestMike
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by MidwestMike » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:39 pm

Dear Lord, please may I win the lottery.

Meet me halfway Mike, buy a ticket.

NEVER.

maroon
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by maroon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:52 pm

Where I used to work, there was an office pool when the lottery amount got high enough. I would always contribute becuase I woudn't want to be the only one left when everyone else quit from winning the lottery! :oops: (I don't think they were scratch-off tickets.)

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by miles monroe » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:57 pm

i don't buy scratch offs. i spend $2 a week on my state's lotto ($1 twice a week). $2 a week is peanuts, and to have the opportunity to win life changing money for me, my kids, and so on is worth the contribution for college scholarships. i don't do scratch offs as they don't have life changing money.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Coachrhino11 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:16 pm

ChrisC wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:05 pm
Gambling can be addictive. I have two addictive gamblers in my family. One gambled in casinos; the other primarily scratch-off and lottery tickets. One straightened himself out for the most part, after years of therapy, counseling, GA meetings, which he still attends. The other is a beginning work in progress, after ruining his marriage, losing his house to foreclosure, pissing away his retirement accounts, and owing the IRS lots of money; he did win twice for $2k and 5k, but must have lost over $1 million.

This thread should be shut down; it seems contrary to the community rules.
Wow, really? I wasn't aware I joined a religious site. It was just a simple, fun question, no harm intended.

mrsbetsy
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by mrsbetsy » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:18 pm

My husband and I each get an allowance/blow money each month and we do not get to have an opinion about how the other spends it. I spend mine on fancy mascara and lunch dates with my friends. He spends his on lotto/scratchers. I don't understand it, but I don't say anything.

Of course, if he ever does win, I benefit!

Coachrhino11
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Coachrhino11 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:24 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:57 pm
I admit to buying lottery tickets, because winning $50M or so would be interesting. Winning a few thousand dollars, or even a million, at better odds, has no allure.

I know the odds are long, but if I have a ticket, I can fantasize. It costs less than a movie ticket, and the fantasy is better.

OP, If it's causing an issue with your spouse, then you have a gambling problem, by my definition. It's not worth it.
Oh no, absolutely no issues with spouse at all. She just likes to rib me. I certainly have no gambling problem and hate Vegas. I'll go weeks, sometimes months with buying none but lately I've been spending around $4-5 week. I don't pay for crappy cable, cheap cell phone plan that works for me, etc... Agree with person regarding movie analogy, I literally never go to theatre, think it's a rip off. I get antsy anyway sitting so long. I only watch movies at house where I can pause. What can I say, I'm just not too classy regardless of money I make in lifetime. I enjoy a $3 take and bake, sixer, a few lottery tickets. Guess I'm a bad man, lol.

Coachrhino11
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Coachrhino11 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:29 pm

mrsbetsy wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:18 pm
My husband and I each get an allowance/blow money each month and we do not get to have an opinion about how the other spends it. I spend mine on fancy mascara and lunch dates with my friends. He spends his on lotto/scratchers. I don't understand it, but I don't say anything.

Of course, if he ever does win, I benefit!
That's great. My wife's parents had mad money of so much per month. Same thing. I like.

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alpenglow
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by alpenglow » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:30 pm

I don't think I've ever bought a scratch off ticket. I joined an office pool once about 20 years ago. Gambling isn't my thing.

FWIW, I was a successful professional day trader when I was younger. I wasn't gambling. :moneybag

Coachrhino11
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Coachrhino11 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:40 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:30 pm
I don't think I've ever bought a scratch off ticket. I joined an office pool once about 20 years ago. Gambling isn't my thing.

FWIW, I was a successful professional day trader when I was younger. I wasn't gambling. :moneybag
We gamble every time we leave our house here, especially if you live in a city. Just saying.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:14 pm

Coachrhino11 wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:24 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:57 pm
I admit to buying lottery tickets, because winning $50M or so would be interesting. Winning a few thousand dollars, or even a million, at better odds, has no allure.

I know the odds are long, but if I have a ticket, I can fantasize. It costs less than a movie ticket, and the fantasy is better.

OP, If it's causing an issue with your spouse, then you have a gambling problem, by my definition. It's not worth it.
Oh no, absolutely no issues with spouse at all. She just likes to rib me. I certainly have no gambling problem and hate Vegas. I'll go weeks, sometimes months with buying none but lately I've been spending around $4-5 week. I don't pay for crappy cable, cheap cell phone plan that works for me, etc... Agree with person regarding movie analogy, I literally never go to theatre, think it's a rip off. I get antsy anyway sitting so long. I only watch movies at house where I can pause. What can I say, I'm just not too classy regardless of money I make in lifetime. I enjoy a $3 take and bake, sixer, a few lottery tickets. Guess I'm a bad man, lol.
I think a little ribbing is good in a marriage :beer

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:22 pm

Coachrhino11 wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:16 pm
ChrisC wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:05 pm
Gambling can be addictive. I have two addictive gamblers in my family. One gambled in casinos; the other primarily scratch-off and lottery tickets. One straightened himself out for the most part, after years of therapy, counseling, GA meetings, which he still attends. The other is a beginning work in progress, after ruining his marriage, losing his house to foreclosure, pissing away his retirement accounts, and owing the IRS lots of money; he did win twice for $2k and 5k, but must have lost over $1 million.

This thread should be shut down; it seems contrary to the community rules.
Wow, really? I wasn't aware I joined a religious site. It was just a simple, fun question, no harm intended.
I don't see anyone quoting scripture. This is a very real problem for a lot of people. You asked who buys these tickets and someone provided a response of someone they know who does and the negative effects as a warning. For some, they could probably fund a good portion of their retirement (or bring closer their retirement date) taking their monthly gambling money and placing it in the appropriate account. That would be my advice.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Coachrhino11 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:18 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:22 pm
Coachrhino11 wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:16 pm
ChrisC wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:05 pm
Gambling can be addictive. I have two addictive gamblers in my family. One gambled in casinos; the other primarily scratch-off and lottery tickets. One straightened himself out for the most part, after years of therapy, counseling, GA meetings, which he still attends. The other is a beginning work in progress, after ruining his marriage, losing his house to foreclosure, pissing away his retirement accounts, and owing the IRS lots of money; he did win twice for $2k and 5k, but must have lost over $1 million.

This thread should be shut down; it seems contrary to the community rules.
Wow, really? I wasn't aware I joined a religious site. It was just a simple, fun question, no harm intended.
I don't see anyone quoting scripture. This is a very real problem for a lot of people. You asked who buys these tickets and someone provided a response of someone they know who does and the negative effects as a warning. For some, they could probably fund a good portion of their retirement (or bring closer their retirement date) taking their monthly gambling money and placing it in the appropriate account. That would be my advice.
Agree with you regarding people spending ridiculous amounts of money and having real problems and even closing gap on retirement date, but saying thread should be shut down because some people have real problems. Way more people have real problems with alcoholism in this country and we can't go many places where it's not present. Want to take kid to sporting event, be prepared to deal with drunks.

And I understand this is Bogleheads, but there is actually more to life than retirement date. Many live for tomorrow and fail to live for today. Sacrifice physical and mental health today for hopes of "retirement " tomorrow. Most of us here have retirement goals and dropping a few bucks here and there is not going to change it.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Olemiss540 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:33 pm

Never bought into lottery tickets, seems to be just another way to tax the lower income bracket IMO.

I do think there are parallels with gambling and the stock market as you are betting on the long term earnings of a particular market, but like to think I could live with myself if I lost it all.

If I lost the same amount in a Casino, pretty sure I would become an alcoholic or worse...

cheapedy
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by cheapedy » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:37 pm

Have never purchased a ticket of any kind. Although, I frequently enter local tv and radio contests. If I can't win the local contests with much favorable odds....... how the heck would I ever win the powerball!

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by gerntz » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:41 pm

I'm not poor/desperate enough.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by spectec » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:18 pm

It's OK to buy them as long as you are realistic about the odds. Your chances of winning big are roughly the same whether you do or don't buy a ticket.
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:25 pm

I never buy scratch offs. My parents do give me around $20 worth around Christmas time and have done so for many years. Most I ever won on a single ticket from those batches was $5. 90% of the time the tickets win nothing.

I do buy a draw-type lotto ticket every other week or so where the top prizes are life-changing amounts of money.

I know of some people who buy scratch offs by the hundreds of dollars at a time. I don't get it. The potential pay-off is so low. I suspect the odds are actually far better on casino slot machines compared to scratch off tickets.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by docbrown » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:48 pm

I wonder if there was ever a drawing in which the expected value of the ticket was greater than the cost of the ticket, maybe by just a cent or two. Like when those massive jackpots happen occasionally.

I have never bought one and don't expect I ever will.
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Teague » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:00 pm

^ I think that does happen with the occasional huge jackpot, if each player has a unique set of numbers.

But, when the jackpot gets huge, more people tend to play, and the chances of the jackpot being split increase, thereby tending to eliminate the positive expected outcome. I think.
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by frugalecon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:09 pm

docbrown wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:48 pm
I wonder if there was ever a drawing in which the expected value of the ticket was greater than the cost of the ticket, maybe by just a cent or two. Like when those massive jackpots happen occasionally.

I have never bought one and don't expect I ever will.
i wouldn't expect that this would ever happen with a scratch-off ticket, but I think it can get somewhat close with the giant lottery payouts, particularly if you ignore taxes, which you shouldn't do, of course.

In truth, if the expected payout were similar, the scratch-off would be a better bet. The bulk of the payout in the big lottery is in the jackpot, which (a) you are virtually certainly not going to win, and (b) if somehow improbably you did win, it would destroy your life.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by ChrisC » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:36 pm

Coachrhino11 wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:18 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:22 pm
Coachrhino11 wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:16 pm
ChrisC wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:05 pm
Gambling can be addictive. I have two addictive gamblers in my family. One gambled in casinos; the other primarily scratch-off and lottery tickets. One straightened himself out for the most part, after years of therapy, counseling, GA meetings, which he still attends. The other is a beginning work in progress, after ruining his marriage, losing his house to foreclosure, pissing away his retirement accounts, and owing the IRS lots of money; he did win twice for $2k and 5k, but must have lost over $1 million.

This thread should be shut down; it seems contrary to the community rules.
Wow, really? I wasn't aware I joined a religious site. It was just a simple, fun question, no harm intended.
I don't see anyone quoting scripture. This is a very real problem for a lot of people. You asked who buys these tickets and someone provided a response of someone they know who does and the negative effects as a warning. For some, they could probably fund a good portion of their retirement (or bring closer their retirement date) taking their monthly gambling money and placing it in the appropriate account. That would be my advice.
Agree with you regarding people spending ridiculous amounts of money and having real problems and even closing gap on retirement date, but saying thread should be shut down because some people have real problems. Way more people have real problems with alcoholism in this country and we can't go many places where it's not present. Want to take kid to sporting event, be prepared to deal with drunks.

And I understand this is Bogleheads, but there is actually more to life than retirement date. Many live for tomorrow and fail to live for today. Sacrifice physical and mental health today for hopes of "retirement " tomorrow. Most of us here have retirement goals and dropping a few bucks here and there is not going to change it.
Coachrino11,

You read far too much in my post. I mentioned that gambling addiction can be a serious issue -- you may not have that issue. I didn't quote scripture and I don't think I was sounding sanctimonious about your view about buying or budgeting for lottery tickets. I questioned whether this is a proper topic for this topical forum since all you're talking about is a frivolous expenditure of money. Here's what the rules say, btw:

Non-actionable (Trolling) Topics

If readers can't do anything with the content of a topic other than argue about it, it does not belong here. Examples include:
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:45 pm

Buying lottery tickets is an irrational behavior. Behavioral scientists have identified a cognitive bias called possibility effect which causes the brain to treat the difference between 0% and 1% as more significant than the difference between 1% and 2% (or between 0% and 0.0000001% differently from 0.0000001% and 0.0000002%). The possibility effect causes people to weigh highly unlikely outcomes disproportionately more than they warrant. It is illustrative that people buying lottery tickets always focus on the prize and ignore the odds of winning, for them 0.0000001% is no different from 0.0000000001%.

There is an argument that buying lottery tickets means buying hope. $1/week is enough for a hope. Beyond that it's pure irrationality.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by cashmoney » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:47 pm

spectec wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:18 pm
It's OK to buy them as long as you are realistic about the odds. Your chances of winning big are roughly the same whether you do or don't buy a ticket.



One way of improving your odds of winning is to live in mobile home- at least in Florida it seems to work that way.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:50 pm

I have never bought a lottery ticket but...

When my then 16 yo son had a job in a mini-mart. he would come home expressing surprise at the number of people who would come in and buy beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets. Often they were driving clapped out vehicles.

It offered an opportunity for a good interaction about money, how to spend it and how to save it. Today he is a tenured professor at an Ivey League school and a real Bogelhead.
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:52 pm

I have bought scratch-offs for grab-bag gifts, gifts to family and as ad-hock purchase for myself. No, I don't budget for it, if I purchase one, it will be on par with the cost of a cup of coffee/tea.

I've seen others drop hundreds of dollars at a pop :shock: That is an addiction. They believe they have better odds of winning the lottery.
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:44 pm

Olemiss540 wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:33 pm
Never bought into lottery tickets, seems to be just another way to tax the lower income bracket IMO...
Indeed.
The lower Income or lower IQ, I'm not sure which.
I've never bought a lottery ticket...
Attempted new signature...

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F150HD
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by F150HD » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:04 pm

I have bought scratch-offs for grab-bag gifts, gifts to family....
On that note, you can buy prank lottery scratch offs.
Makes a fun gift to throw in someones bday card. Put in 2 real ones, 1 fake one.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Dead Man Walking » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:04 pm

I've never bought a scratch off ticket. I occasionally buy a power ball ticket when the prize is astronomical. My purchase is usually because the person in front of me at the cashier bought tickets and made me aware of the size of the prize.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:09 pm

There are so many things that people do that strike me as stupid beyond belief, but mentioning them here would get my post deleted. I think that buying a lottery ticket falls pretty low down the list of stupid things, as long as it's not pathological.

Fwiw, I didn't buy a lottery ticket (except in office pools) until my NW was above 7 digits. I wanted to fantasize about a NW in the 9 digits. So shoot me.

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:11 pm

F150HD wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:04 pm

On that note, you can buy prank lottery scratch offs.
Makes a fun gift to throw in someones bday card. Put in 2 real ones, 1 fake one.
I'm not sure how much fun that would be for the disappointed recipient. . . .

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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by nimo956 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:23 pm

docbrown wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:48 pm
I wonder if there was ever a drawing in which the expected value of the ticket was greater than the cost of the ticket, maybe by just a cent or two. Like when those massive jackpots happen occasionally.

I have never bought one and don't expect I ever will.
I've done the math before, and even the largest actual jackpots are not even close to having a positive EV after taking the lump sum and taxes into account. I also ignored the possibility for multiple winners, so it's even worse in reality.
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Re: Who actually buys lottery scratch offs?

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:30 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (gambling is off-topic in this forum). See: Consumer Forum Reopened
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