Problems With the Lottery and How to Fix Them

There are many arguments against the lottery. Some people claim that it is not worth it, while others use economic arguments to support their positions. Lotteries help state governments increase their revenue, provide large companies with a lucrative source of advertising and marketing, and provide cheap entertainment for those who wish to play. Regardless of the debates, it is undeniable that lotteries raise money for the good of the public. But the question remains, should lotteries be stopped?


The National Gambling and Intelligence Study Commission has recently published a report examining problems with the lottery. In it, the Commission concludes that most respondents would like to play the lottery if the proceeds went to a good cause. Problems with the lottery also include underage gambling and over-advertising. Here, we look at some of these problems and how to fix them. Hopefully, you’ll find these suggestions useful.


Lottery statistics are fascinating. According to one study, Americans spend approximately $70 billion annually on lottery tickets, or about R8 a piece, making it more expensive than the average movie or other form of entertainment. Interestingly, the poorest third of households spend the most on lottery tickets and buy the most tickets on average. Here are some of these statistics:


In fiscal 2020, Lottery sales declined by $244.6 million, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The sales of many lottery products also declined, but overall, the lottery still generated a $986.9 million net profit, which goes toward state local aid. However, these figures may not be indicative of a permanent decline. In the near future, lottery sales may rise again as the Coronavirus spreads to other states.


The first recorded lotteries offered money prizes. Low-country towns held public lotteries to raise money for fortifications and poor people. Although the first lottery was not in existence until the early 1700s, town records indicate the existence of lotteries as far back as 1445. In a record from L’Ecluse dated 9 May 1445, it was recorded that there were 4,304 tickets sold. In today’s dollars, this amount is equivalent to about US$170,000.

At-risk gamblers

Lottery products are often mistaken for other types of gambling. But problem lottery gamblers differ significantly from problem gamblers of other types. The problem gambler’s profile is different in lottery games than in online gambling, which is why identifying them is crucial for designing interventions. At-risk gamblers are more likely to be males, younger, and e-cigarette users. And those who gamble are more likely to feel guilty about it, too.

Return to state government

The California State Lottery withheld lottery winnings to pay off an overpayment debt. This was done in accordance with Government Code Section (SS) 12419.5, which allows the Controller to deduct any amount owed to a state agency. In addition, the lottery withheld unclaimed property funds, such as uncashed checks, money orders, life insurance benefits, inactive bank accounts and stock dividends. Since that money is considered unclaimed property, the lottery winnings were withheld.