Who Plays the Lottey?

Statistics on who are they, how old they are and why they play?
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Who Plays the Lottery
  • Author:
    William Monroe
  • Published:

Although many of us play the lottery, few of us really know much about all the other people who also play the lottery. Who are they? How old are they? Why do they play?

To understand a little bit about who plays the lottery, let’s look at some statistics about lottery players. Be aware that these statistics are very generalized and averaged from much date from many resources.

This only gives a general idea about lottery players and nothing specific to any area or country.

Who is playing

Approximately 45-50% of the average adult population are current lottery players.

That basically means that they have purchased a lottery ticket at least once in the past two months. So up to half the general adult population plays the lottery on a semi-regular basis.

But approximately 58% of the average adult population have bought a lottery ticket within the past twelve months, and around 17% are considered to be “core” or “die hard” lottery players in that they purchase tickets once a week or more.

So even though half of us have bought tickets, only 17% of that half are weekly players.

Where they buy

Out of those lottery players above, 87% buy their tickets in a retail store or at a lottery kiosk, while only 9% purchase lottery tickets both via retail and online where offered, while only 4% purchase online only.

Why they play

Surprisingly, 40% of all lottery players aren’t playing for the money at all but for the sheer fun of taking the chance.

Diggin deeper

More statistics show that the average player tends to be a male over 35, working fulltime outside of the home and with a very slightly higher income.

Player statistics are used by the gaming industry to develop and apply strategies and plans towards advertising, game creation, marketing and promotion, demographics targeting, projected income and losses, player trends and traits, and other initiatives to increase player participation.

However, when the gaming industry takes all these statistics into consideration to planning for future growth, there is a trend that seems to be forming.


Although ticket sales on average increase each year, the people who are considered “millennials”, those in their late teens to early thirties, are not as interested or enthusiastic about playing the lottery as much as older family members and parents.

Most millennials are not hurting for money as much as older people may be, so many feel that they have no need to play the lottery to win money.

In addition, some think that everyday goods and services are just too expensive to waste any money on the lottery given the odds of winning the jackpot or other prizes.

Another problem that faces the lottery industry with millennials is that they have been born into today’s technological society, and so are used to and expect the instant gratification that responses to text messages, social media, and online games provide.

They have no patience to wait even one day for a draw to happen to see if they have won anything. It is just too far off for them to be bothered.

And millennials are more into the reward of experience rather than money. They need to win something that provides them with something concrete and exciting that fills their need for experience.

With these things in mind, many operators and regulators are contemplating the idea of offering prizes other than simply monetary ones.

High-end computer gaming systems, video game packages, backstage passes to a concert or performance, exotic trips, once in a lifetime or virtual reality experiences, are just some the ideas that have been kicked around in order to get millennials participating in lottery draws.

Another aspect of poor millennial acceptance of lottery playing is that millennials are more inclined to shop at locations where lottery sales are either not offered or are not conveniently located.

If millennials don’t have immediate and instant access to a lottery retailer, they will not got out of their way to find one to buy a ticket or two.

Operators and regulators are now looking at areas to provide lottery sales where millennials shop and hang out to provide convenient access for ticket sales.

In summary

So half of us buy tickets, most of us are men over 35, and a few of us are regular dedicated weekly lottery players.

But when it comes to under 35 men and women, we don’t care about the money jackpots and can’t be bothered, can’t wait for lottery results, and won’t go out of our way to buy tickets.

So don’t be surprised to see lotteries that offer trips, electronics, once in a lifetime experiences, and other non-monetary prizes.

As the millennial generations increase, lottery operators and regulators have to change with the times to get these young people interested in, and spend their money on, the lottery.

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