How young people interact with the lottery
In most countries that have lotteries, draws have been around for decades and may people in their 40’s and above have lifetime players upon reaching adulthood. The players play the lottery in hopes to win money, specifically large amounts of money, and hopefully the top jackpot. They know their chances are slim, but they regularly budget for the purchase of lottery tickets to possibly fulfill their dream one day.
But when it comes to players under 40, there seems to be a distinct difference in their attitude towards the lottery. Unlike their older peers, younger players don’t see the lottery as a “lifetime retirement” opportunity. They see it just as it is; a game that is almost impossible to win due to the odds and probability. They understand the difficulty in hitting even a free ticket and feel that buying a ticket is a waste of money for them. They would rather put the money towards groceries, rent, or other more important things. Playing the lottery, and gambling in general, is not an activity that most under 40 people would consider “entertainment.”
Another factor under 40’s don’t like about playing the lottery is that there is no social aspect to the games or the draws. Growing up in a more digital world, under 40’s have been ingrained into a highly social lifestyle. So playing the lottery is seen as a solitary endeavour and is of no interest to younger players in general.
As for over those who are over 40, lotteries filled a niche for people to hopefully win money in a time that most people didn’t have a lot of it. Since it was a pre-digital age, over 40’s when they were young were struggling with the ability to pay mortgages and rents, have and raise families, buying basic groceries, paying for their cars, and generally living paycheque to paycheque. The lottery offered a way, a very small and slim but very possible way, to pay off debt and clear up bills, and life a lifestyle not of the rich and famous, but of not having to worry about paying bills and not living paycheque to paycheque anymore.
Today, a lot of that is not a concern for under 40’s. They may concentrate on getting a good job, and a car to be able to get around, but most are not looking into buying a house. They will rent a house or an apartment until the need or desire for an owned residence becomes a reality. They save more money, or spend much less, so living from paycheque to paycheque is not something they need to do. Having and a raising a family is something that, if it ever happens, is relegated to an older age or milestone. They will also buy fewer groceries but will buy more expensive items to prepare more healthy meals. They would rather put the money they would spend on the lotter towards one or more of these expenses.
This behaviour brings about a lot of confliction positive and negative outcomes. Younger people are not going to win anything in the lottery, but that leaves more prizes available for the older loyal player. Younger players are prone to spend less money, if anything, on the lottery, which means lottery earnings are being supported by older players. Some older players may become addicted to the lottery while very few younger players will. And older players may spend more of their winnings to make up for things they did not have in their lives and retire, while younger players are more likely to bank their winnings and keep on working.
Whether you are over 40 or under 40, playing the lottery is an entertainment activity that is a personal decision. Although most under 40’s don’t play the lottery, for those who do, they are doing it for the same reasons as over 40’s, as they grew up in households that played the lottery regularly. So don’t be surprised if some little 27 year old wins the jackpot and says she is going to use the money to go back to school or put it away for when she’s and old lady, like at 41. Young people have different priorities today and the lottery is not one of them. Thankfully, that means more chances for the rest of us.