How to Reduce Your Lottery Spending

The casting of lots to decide issues and determine fates has a long history in human society, including several examples in the Bible. Modern lotteries are more often used for commercial promotions in which property or services are awarded through a random procedure and for public affairs, such as determining military conscription or selecting jurors from lists of registered voters. The lottery is also popular as a form of entertainment and for generating funds to buy things like sports tickets and vacations.

Lottery ads typically promote two messages – that playing is fun and that winning is a good way to improve financial situations. While the fun message reaches many people, the winnings message is less effective. The vast majority of lottery players are poor, largely because they have much lower incomes than the population at large. Moreover, the winners of lottery prizes are often attracted to a lump sum and can find themselves bankrupt within a few years.

Americans spend over $80 Billion a year on lottery tickets. In many cases this money could be better spent on building an emergency fund or paying down credit card debt. Whether you’re an avid lottery player or not, there are some simple steps that can be taken to help reduce the amount of money you spend on tickets. First, set a budget. Choose a dollar amount that you will spend daily, weekly or monthly on lottery tickets and try to stick to it. Buying more tickets can increase your chances of winning, but be careful not to overspend.