Lottery Scratch-Off Sales Have Soared In 2020

Expert says the big jump in people playing the odds is nothing new in times of recession.

By Michael Marks & Kristen CabreraOctober 9, 2020 3:32 pm,

The coronavirus pandemic has been a bad thing for the U.S. economy overall. But some businesses have seen bumps in sales because of it, including the Texas Lottery, which helps fund schools and veteran services. The San Antonio Express-News reported sales of scratch-off tickets were up 14% over the last fiscal year, giving the Texas Lottery its biggest sales year ever.

Devin Mills, assistant professor of community, family, and addiction sciences at Texas Tech University, told Texas Standard that the big jump in people playing the odds this year isn’t surprising.

“This is actually very common. … We saw a variety of different cases in the 2008 recession where individuals were turning to the lottery,” Mills said. “Gambling is a recreational activity, and so there’s a variety of different motivations that might explain why individuals are turning to any sort of gambling, whether it be lottery tickets or something else.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How a person’s social network could influence whether they’re more likely to play the lottery

– How the lottery might be a way some Texans are coping with economic hardship and uncertainty

– Whether the surge in lottery ticket sales is tied to public health concerns

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