The Texas Lottery now has a $50 scratch-off card. Who’s buying the tickets? People who can afford to throw away fifty bucks? Don’t bet on it:

As it turns out, the $50 game, called $130 Million Spectacular, has fared best in middle-income neighborhoods typically not considered affluent, according to six months of sales data analyzed by the Houston Chronicle.

Is anyone actually surprised by this?

While the analysis is imperfect because it does not account for people who may buy lottery tickets in a ZIP code where they don’t live, and whose incomes may differ from the median there, it bolsters numerous other studies indicating that lottery games tend to be most popular among the non-affluent.

Meanwhile, Texas pols are happy:

“The $50 ticket salvaged our entire fiscal year last year,” said Robert Tirloni, projects manager for the Texas Lottery Commission, bringing $137 million to state coffers since the game’s debut in May and helping the commission close a $93 million gap in revenue between 2006 and 2007.

Which means there’s a good chance you’ll see this same sort of thing here before too long, since the Oklahoma Lottery is underachieving at the Bart Simpson level.

(Via Hit & Run.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    15 January 2008 · 1:30 pm

    I’m not surprised at all that people who can afford to blow $50 on a lottery ticket, aren’t. I admit I feel a certain conflict – were this to come here- between “I hate the thought of someone spending their grocery money on a vain hope” and “but it amounts to a “tax” I can choose to pay or not.”

    Never have bought a lottery ticket in my life. Even if I didn’t understand probability, there’s something that feels vaguely unsavory, in a fairy-story-likely-to-break-bad way, about suddenly coming into a giant amount of money for no effort on my part.

  2. Jennifer »

    15 January 2008 · 2:49 pm

    In WV, for every billboard promoting the Dog Track/Gaming Center and the WV Lottery, there are two for Gamblers Anon. and bankruptcy attorneys.

    It’s maddening.

  3. CGHill »

    15 January 2008 · 6:28 pm

    I’ve been known to buy an occasional ticket, though not regularly, and so far never with any actual return.

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