Things you should know before you plunk down that next $5 on scratchers

I love games as much as the next person, and if your someone who plays the lottery because you love the thrill of the “game,” play on.

But if you are like most lottery players, please read this article from yesterday’s AJC on how the Georgia Lottery works hard to keep Georgians scratching away at their bank balances.

Yes, they are targeting the people who can least afford to play. And yes your chances of winning have not, and will not improve.

The article reports that 70% of the revenue from the lottery comes from scratchers. I say the themes of the games may change–but your odds of winning will NEVER change.

The article also reports that Georgia has the second highest per capita sales of lottery tickets in the world. Does that mean Georgians like to play games, or that we need a better understanding of how unlikely it is that anyone of us will win?

Full disclosure–I played “quick pick” once when it started in 1993 and once a month ago when the jackpot was $200 million plus. If you played the lottery in the 90s, you paid for my tuition at UGA. Yes, I contemplated what I would do if I won. But then I made myself calculate my odds of winning (about the same odds if I didn’t play) and then I moved on.

Go find something better to do with your $10.