According to the American Gaming Association, 2018 was a record-breaking year for gambling, generating $41.7 billion in gaming revenue. This was the highest-ever annual total — and it looks like Americans are only upping the ante.
The U.S. Supreme Court started allowing legalized sports betting in most states in 2018, with half of Americans now living in states where sports gambling will be fair game. Online gambling is also on the rise. With the increased use of smartphones and high-speed internet, online gambling makes it far easier for people to bet from the safety of their own homes.
The acceptance of gambling within our culture is also steadily increasing. According to a 2018 poll by Gallup, 69% of Americans say gambling is morally acceptable — the highest level of acceptance in the 16 years of the survey. And with the average American spending $288.06 on lottery tickets per year, it’s clear that many people love to press their luck.
To figure out which states enjoy playing the lottery the most, GOBankingRates analyzed lottery ticket sales and prize data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This study also looked at data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) 2018 National Capability survey, with respondents answering a variety of questions, including, “Over the past 12 months, approximately how often did you buy a lottery ticket?”
Massachusetts came in first position followed by Rhode Island in second.
Rounding out the top 10 are
- New York
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
#2 – Rhode Island
- Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $626.11
Rhode Island has the second-highest annual amount spent on lottery tickets per person on this list. However, it also has the second-lowest amount of lottery prizes awarded at just $157 million.
#1 – Massachusetts
- Annual amount spent on lottery per person: $933.33
Massachusetts residents spend over $300 more on lottery tickets per person than Rhode Island, with 5% of citizens saying they play the lottery every day. Lottery ticket sales reached $5.09 billion in 2017 alone.