Ever since the modern lottery was launched back in 1994, it has become an integral part of British culture. Today, we thought we’d take a look at who actually plays the lottery and why we continue to buy tickets despite the fact that we know our chances of winning the jackpot are real but tiny.
According to Lottoland, a website that allows players to bet on the winning numbers of lotteries from all over the world, including EuroMillions and MegaMillions, 70% of the adult population throughout the UK regularly play the lottery. In 2016, when these lottery player demographics were reported, approximately 45 million individuals bought around three lottery tickets per week, on average. In addition the data, at least 50% of the total population play the lottery at least once a month.
By far, the age demographic that purchases the most lottery tickets is those of us over 35 years old, as over half of us partake in lottery draws at least once a month. However, it appears that those aged 55 to 64 are most likely to buy scratchcards, with 31% of tickets being sold to this age group. Meanwhile, a third of those aged between 25 and 34 regularly buy tickets, whilst one in six 18 to 24-year-olds enjoy a game every month.
Interestingly, there is barely any difference between how many people buy tickets when it comes to gender, though it does appear that the upper and middle classes play the lottery a lot more often than the working classes. That said, people who claim benefits are 4% more likely to buy a ticket than their peers.
While we may be chipping in for lottery tickets on a regular basis, we all know the chances of us winning the jackpot aren’t really in our favour, so why do we continue to play?
Basically, people play the lottery because they are optimistic, hopeful and enjoy imagining how their lives would change if they won. Financial advisor and author of The Sudden Wealth Solution Robert Pagliarini has even labelled the lottery a good investment, simply based on how much being hopeful can actually improve your life.
There’s also scientifically proven benefits to allowing your mind to dwell on winning the lottery. According to a study published by Psychological Science, imagining your life differently enables you to concoct stronger ideas and think creatively after just twelve minutes. While speaking to The Wall Street Journal, cognitive neuroscientist at the University of British Columbia Kalina Christoff said: “Mind wandering is a much more active state than we ever imagined, much more active than during reasoning with a complex problem.”
So, next time you go to your local newsagents or log on to an online lottery site to pick the numbers that could possibly change your entire life, remember that you are benefiting yourself enormously by letting yourself have hope. Plus, you never know how the numbers will fall – so why not play and at least to try to make your fantasy a reality?