Historically, Powerball and lottery, in general, has been the go-to game for adults over 35 years old. Millennials, the generation known for its tech-savvy upbringing, weren’t as smitten with the idea of winning a Powerball jackpot. But times are changing, and so are personal finances, economic stability, and retirement goals. Recent stats suggest that more millennials are taking a liking to the idea of winning the Powerball jackpot. So are they really playing more these days, and how long with this renewed interest last?
As recent as three years ago, lottery officials across a variety of platforms were worried that the millennial generation would kill the game. In surveys conducted in 2017, there were fewer and fewer younger people playing. It had many wondering if a lack of participation would disrupt the game altogether. But fast forward to today. Consider pandemic conditions and digital options for entertainment and gambling. People are experiencing hardships and looking for ways to financial freedom. They’re also looking for hope and a belief in a chance to win big. These conditions are the ingredients for change. But are more millennials actually playing Powerball? And if they are, will they continue to do so?
People have been playing Powerball for years and do so with the hopes that they, too, will join the ranks among the multi-million-dollar winners. The game is easy and doesn’t require talent to play, although many employ a series of number selection tactics that might seem like a unique skill. It’s affordable to enter, and tickets are made available at convenient, everyday locations. But it may be these reasons that kept those under the age of 35 at bay. In both the U.S. and Canada, Powerball players have skewed older in recent years. As of 2017, fewer than 7% of adults under 35 played the lottery weekly. In a game that primarily targets those who love to fantasize about a Powerball-winning lifestyle, the early numbers suggest the millennials were dreaming about other things.
Millennials, remember, were born into an age of technology, social media, and mobile connectivity. Unlike their more senior counterparts, millennials like to engage in games that offer rewards based on skill. They prefer games that provide a competitive experience, or at least a challenging one. Over the last five years, the classic Powerball didn’t appear to be gaining much traction with this younger generation. After all, it was a game that seemed to be rooted in luck and predominantly engaged players with in-person ticket purchases. Some suggest part of the millennial disinterest was due to availability. Powerball tickets were primarily sold in grocery stores, supermarkets, and gas stations when most millennials preferred to make their everyday purchases elsewhere and online.
The Powerball jackpots are getting bigger in recent games, and the allure of winning has grown with them. Industry experts point out that the general sentiment among players is that when the potential winnings reach a certain point, the payout potential itself is worth the probability of playing. And the millennials are responding, especially in recent pandemic shutdown conditions. They’re exploring their opportunities to win, and the gurus at Bankrate.com found that millennials alone spend $976 each year on tickets. There is a shift in the numbers, and it seems as though millennials are seeing more opportunity with Powerball than they did in years past.
Many Americans of all ages still believe in winning big with the Powerball. Approximately one-fifth of the general U.S. population continues to play and believes winning the lottery is the easiest way to boost their personal savings. As recent as last year, in a Stash app survey, the number of respondents admitting to relying on winning as a means to retirement was staggering. Almost 40% believed this was the most practical path to retirement, 59% of which were millennials. And as economic uncertainty of this year continues to loom, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are looking more like an opportunity.
Powerball continues to be popular among those who play routinely. Despite the odds, they see their chance at victory in a selection of numbers. And the millennials, while still a minority representation of the total number of players, continues to grow.