Jun 09, 2024

Question of the Day: How much do Americans spend on lottery tickets each year?

Whether it's a number drawing or scratch-offs, Americans spend big money for the chance to become the lucky winner. 


Answer: About $113 billion


  • What do you think about the odds of winning the lottery? Does this differ from game to game?
  • Do you consider a scratch-off ticket to be gambling? Why or why not?
  • If a lottery game is won, how does the prize money compare to the money the winner is paid out? Why? 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (NASPL):

"How much do North American lotteries sell?
During fiscal year 2023, U.S. lottery sales totaled over $113.3 billion.

What jurisdictions sold the most?
Florida led the U.S. (and North America) with traditional game sales of $9.8 billion in fiscal 2023, followed by California with sales of $9.2 billion.

What types of games do they offer?
Games vary by jurisdiction. Most offer instant or scratch-off tickets. Many offer lotto and/or numbers games. Some also offer keno or video lottery terminals. Raffles or passive games are less common. A few government lotteries also operate video lottery terminals, casinos and/or racinos in their jurisdictions. And a growing number offer various types of sports betting, iLottery and/or iGaming.

What do lottery revenues benefit?

Lottery proceeds benefit different programs in different jurisdictions. In many cases, lottery profits are combined with tax and other revenues in a government's general fund. In other cases lottery proceeds are dedicated to a wide range of causes, including education, economic development, the environment, programs for senior citizens and veterans, health care, sports facilities, capital construction projects, cultural activities, tax relief, and others."



For more resources stay tuned for the new Mini-Unit: Gambling and Sports Betting being released this week!


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About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.

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