At The Atlantic, Derek Thompson provides some depressing numbers related to lotteries in America. Here are seven figures you should know from his article:
1. Americans spend more on lottery tickets than on sports tickets, books, video games, movie tickets, and recorded music sales combined — $70 billion on lotto games in 2014.
2. In five states, people spend more than $600 dollars per person per year on lottery tickets.
3. The poorest third of households buy half of all lotto tickets.
4. Winners of more than $600 are subject to 45 percent windfall taxes on their winnings.
5. Out of the 20 counties in North Carolina with poverty rates higher than 20 percent, 18 had lottery sales topping the statewide average of $200 per adult.
6. As recently as 1980, just 14 states held lotteries. Today it’s 43.
7. As recently as 2009, lotteries provided more revenue than state corporate-income taxes in 11 of the 43 states where they were legal.