State Lottery Shows Strength in Connecticut, Land of Steady Habits

What would you do if you won the lottery?  According to a new survey, you’d go to work.  That's true not only in the Land of Steady Habits, but nationwide.

Two-thirds of American workers say they would continue working even if they won $10 million in the lottery, while 31% say they would stop, according to a new Gallup poll, released earlier this month. The desire to keep working after enjoying a financial windfall is higher today than in three earlier Gallup measures, all prior to the 2008-2009 recession, the polling firm reported.

Additionally, most American workers who predict they would continue working even after winning the lottery say they would want to stay at the same job rgallup pollather than seek a new job. The roughly 2-to-1 ratio in favor of keeping the same job versus getting a new one is about the same as in 2004, but slightly higher than in 2005 and 1997.

Bloomberg News has reported that lottery players in the U.S. spend an average of $396 a year purchasing lottery tickets, with residents of Massachusetts, Georgia and New York leading the way.  Using data from this analysis, Bloomberg identified which states see the highest and lowest payout ratios. Connecticut tops  neither list. On average, Massachusetts players spend $861, Georgians spend $471 and New Yorkers spend $450 on lottery tickets.  At the bottom in per person spending, on average, are Oklahoma ($71), Montana ($61) and North Dakota ($47).

In fiscal year 2012, players in Connecticut won $659.9 million in prize money. At the same time the CT Lottery provided a record $310 million to support the services and programs founded by the state’s General Fund including public health, libraries, public safety, education and more, according to state lottery officials. Connecticut’s first lottery btop 3egan in 1972, and was the fourth in the nation.

According to the quasi-public Connecticut Lottery Corp.'s most recent annual report, released in May, the lottery achieved record sales totaling nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2012, an increase of $65.1 million from the previous fiscal year, the Day of New London reported.  The lottery credited a number of factors for its total sales increase, including higher sales of instant tickets and higher sales of multistate games, such as Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky for Life. Also, 2012 was a leap year, meaning an extra day for sales.

For the first time in 15 years in fiscal year 2013 (which ended on June 30), the lottery is bringing in more revenue ($16 million) than both Foxwoods and payoutsMohegan Sun, WTNH-TV reported last week.  Lotteries are ubiquitous.  In North America every Canadian province, 43 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all offer government-operated lotteries. Elsewhere in the world, according to NASPL, publicly-operated lotteries exist in at least 100 countries on every inhabited continent.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, only seven U.S. states don't run lotteries: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Utah, Wyoming, and Nevada. Of the 43 states that do run lotteries, the average payout is just under 60% of the revenue dollars collected. Using U.S. Census data, Bloomberg reported that of the estimated $50 billion spent on lottery tickets in 2010, only $32.8 billion was returned in prize money.

A previous Gallup Poll on Gambling in America found that 57% of American adults reported buying a lottery ticket in the past 12 months. People with incomes of $45,000 to $75,000 were the most likely to play -- 65 percent had played in the past year -- while those with incomes under $25,000 were the least likely to play at 53 percent. Further, people with incomes in excess of $75,000 spend roughly three times as much on lotteries each month as do those with incomes under $25,000, the National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) points out.