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Luck Be a Lady

If the odds of winning the lotto are slim to none, why do we continue to buy tickets? Here, we get down to the bottom of our society’s insatiable jackpot jones.

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September 17th, 2012

But even if the meager odds of winning were given more airtime, it might not make a difference. Lottery ticket sales have seen record highs in recent years.

“Since the economy took a downturn in 2008, we’ve had an anxiety epidemic in America,” says Goldbart. “The map to the middle class, how to maintain a comfortable living, is gone. So instead, we give in to a magical, childlike thinking that all our problems can be solved by spending a few dollars on lottery tickets.”

It also doesn’t help that the higher the jackpot, the more buzz and media coverage there is surrounding it. The age-old “everyone’s doing it” excuse is another primary reason to play, especially when the jackpot hits hundreds of millions, says Goldbart.

While it never hurts to dream, try not to go overboard by spending a good chunk of your income on tickets, says Goldbart.

MORE: Is Money Affecting Your Relationship?

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