Report: Georgians are ’suckers’ for the lottery

There’s a sucker born every minute, and there’s a good chance he lives in Georgia, according to a recent study. powerball

BloombergBusinessweek reports Georgians are No. 1 at being bad with money, earning the Empire State of the South the top ranking in its latest Sucker Index.

It’s our love of playing the lottery (Reminder: World record $640 million jackpot drawing tonight!) that’s set us up for ridicule.

Americans spend $50 billion a year in tickets for state-run games, which have the worst odds of any form of legal gambling, writes Bloomberg.

Georgia residents spent an average $470.73 on the lottery in 2010, or 1 percent of their personal income, while they received the sixth-highest prize payouts, 63 cents for each dollar spent, the Sucker Index shows. Only Massachusetts had higher spending, $860.70 per adult, more than three times the U.S. average. But Massachusetts players are luckier, they won back 72 cents for each dollar spent.

The article throws salt on the wounds by saying Georgia’s per capita income is about 10 percent below the U.S. average, and that lower-income residents tend to buy a disproportionate amount of tickets.

And we’re not slowing down: The $640 million frenzy prompted Georgians to buy $6.6 million in Mega Millions tickets on Thursday alone, compared to normal Mega Millions sales of around $2 million for an entire week.

How do the Sucker Index rankings work? Bloomberg took the total spent on ticket sales in each state and subtracted the amount of lottery prizes awarded. The difference was divided by the total personal income of each state’s residents.

Using that formula, the top five Sucker Index states are: Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, South Carolina.

Georgia Lottery spokeswoman Tandi Reddick said Bloomberg’s story is “demeaning” in a guest editorial appearing Sunday in the Augusta Chronicle.

Reddick said the Georgia County Guide reports that Georgia’s 10 poorest counties accounted for less than 1 percent of Georgia Lottery sales in fiscal year 2009.

That may be true, but I’d surmise the 10 poorest counties in Georgia represent less than 1 percent of Georgia’s wealth as well.

I play the lottery, and will continue to do so. It’s fun to think $1 could become $1 million overnight. If I was poor, I’d probably play more.

Hope, the emotion and the scholarship program, is a powerful thing.

Note: Updated March 30, 2012.

129 comments Add your comment

FN_JERK

March 19th, 2012
12:39 pm

Welfare goes a long FN way does it not?

FN_JERK

March 19th, 2012
12:43 pm

I am on welfare.

Ivory

March 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

No reason for the School system to be in the shape that the are then; unless our fearless leaders are corrupt! MFer’s!

DAWG FAN FROM DOUGLISVILLE

March 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

I DONE WISH WE HAD CASINOS HEAR OAR HORSE RACIN!

A person SMART enough to know......

March 19th, 2012
12:47 pm

We spend all that money and the HOPE isn’t working?

spinoza

March 19th, 2012
12:47 pm

This is unsurprising and yet quite sad. This lottery scheme is a means of redistributing income from the poorest to the middle and upper classes by the state government selling false hope to the those most desperate and mathematically illiterate.

I wish the state had citizens who cared enough about education to just pony up the money through state taxes. But the with the mindless and corrupt GOP and the support it enjoys there is no hope for that.

Blue Fender

March 19th, 2012
12:51 pm

HOPE isn’t working due to all the corruption with the lottery. All the skimming and lucrative pay raises for officials are turning it into a mafia type business.

On My Way

March 19th, 2012
12:52 pm

Hey, at least we’re #1 at something!

LOL

March 19th, 2012
12:57 pm

We all know what class of people are buying the tickets!

DAWG FAN FROM DOUGLISVILLE

March 19th, 2012
12:59 pm

Enter your comments here

DAWG FAN FROM DOUGLISVILLE

March 19th, 2012
1:00 pm

GA DEFENATELY NEED SUM CASINOS 2 KEEP FROM HAVING ALL TESE RETRADED KIDS IN SCOOLS!

Nimrod

March 19th, 2012
1:00 pm

These are the same idiots who clamor for casino, horse racing, dog racing, possum racing and tobacco spitting slot machines.

DAWG FAN FROM DOUGLISVILLE

March 19th, 2012
1:02 pm

HEY SLOT MACHINS AT PUBLICS AND TEXACOS WOULD BE GRATE 2!

A person SMART enough to know......

March 19th, 2012
1:02 pm

LOL…you mean the HOPE and CHANGE fools?

trystme

March 19th, 2012
1:03 pm

The lottery is a regressive tax disguised as a game.

ROCK STEADY FREDDY

March 19th, 2012
1:09 pm

The Lotto is nothing more than a poor man’s tax. PERIOD! The one’s making money off it are Politicians and the one’s running it.

DAWG FAN FROM DOUGLISVILLE

March 19th, 2012
1:11 pm

THE LOTTORY IS GOOD 4 THE SCOOLS SO DONT BE TLAKING BAD ABOUT IT HAVE U SEEN SUM OF THEES DUM KIDS THEES DAZE?

A person SMART enough to know......

March 19th, 2012
1:12 pm

I guess we should change the Lotto phrase “You can’t win if you don’t play” to “You can’t win if you do play”.

Billy Rod

March 19th, 2012
1:12 pm

At least I am not as high of taxes as I could be for all the welfare baby-mama’s that treat the vagina like a clown car.

Zombie Steve

March 19th, 2012
1:13 pm

bring on the casinos, already!

DAWG FAN FROM DOUGLISVILLE

March 19th, 2012
1:14 pm

I WON $500 LAST MONTH SO U 2 CAN WIN. I BOUGHT ANOTER $200 OF TIX BUT DIDNT WIN N E THING. I SPENT THE REST OF THE MONEY ON SMOKES AND SOME JACK DANELS!

Billy Rod

March 19th, 2012
1:15 pm

@Zombie Steve

Casino’s are for the more well heeled gambler. Craps play’s more complex than street dice. If they ever put a casino downtown, we all know craps will be replace by dice and they will and quarters as a game. This state is not sophisticated enough for a real casino.

Shawn

March 19th, 2012
1:16 pm

I thought the Florida sucked above Georgia.

DAWG FAN FROM DOUGLISVILLE

March 19th, 2012
1:20 pm

I NO SUM 1 IN FLA AND THERE LOTTORY IS BETER THATN GA LOTTORY NEXT TIME WE GO TO PANAMA CITY I WILL STOCK UP.

unearned praise

March 19th, 2012
1:21 pm

The amount of money the lottery execs make is absurd. The lady that is the chief “taker” of big salaries and big bonuses is allowed too much leeway. It all starts with the Lottery board that has the power to do something about it, but in normal political fashion, doesn’t.
I don’t play for that reason and the odds.

Jimmy

March 19th, 2012
1:22 pm

They can well afford to buy all the lottery tickets they want.Their food is free,their health care is free, their cell phones are free,and their housing is almost free.They are not the suckers,we are because we are paying for everything including their damn lottery tickets through welfare checks.

Sparks

March 19th, 2012
1:25 pm

A fool and his (or her) money are soon parted, but people have to take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences of those actions. The govt has no business legislating morality. Gambling and prostitution are two readily thought of businesses that should be legalized. Temptations of “sinfulness” have always been with us. The decision to indulge is a personal one that shouldn’t be decided by govt or representatives of organized religion. True freedom is something few people understand these days.

JonathanP

March 19th, 2012
1:25 pm

Dawg, you should be an example of why our lottery and its Hope contributions are a failure.

PD

March 19th, 2012
1:27 pm

@JonathanP

You’re just jealous that that dude’s creative writing ability far exceeds your own!

FLUSHLIMBORTZ

March 19th, 2012
1:30 pm

I bought $100 worth of scratch-off last weekend and didn’t win a FN thing. They are not paying out a freaking thing. Who is stealing the FN money?

Joke24

March 19th, 2012
1:30 pm

Any money that doesn’t go towards strippers and drugs is pretty much a waste if you ask me.

All in good fun

March 19th, 2012
1:30 pm

The lotto is good fun every once in a while. I am by no means poor, but I still like to play the big games (Mega Millions, Powerball) when the jackpots get over $150 mill. I know I am not going to win, but it is a good way to get your imagination going. I think the odds are something like 1 in 175 million

Frank Furter

March 19th, 2012
1:32 pm

wompuscat

March 19th, 2012
1:34 pm

I know the odds of winning are against me. But think of my odds if I don’t have a ticket.

This is a Joke

March 19th, 2012
1:34 pm

If Georgians are a sucker for the lotto, then why is HOPE broke. That means someone has their hand in the cookie jar. If that is the case, why is the education department so messed up. This is all a joke.

Contractor

March 19th, 2012
1:37 pm

This doesn’t surprise me, especially when I see black people I work with going to the store to play Cash 3 twice a day every day, and poor white trash blowing money on this crap. I enjoy gambling like most (I prefer casinos over the lottery), but the issue is how the lower class waste all of their money on this, and I can promise the world around half of that toal in the article is government money being used to buy tickets. You don’t have to like what I said, but we all know it’s true.

So Tired of BS

March 19th, 2012
1:37 pm

I prefer to think it’s a return of my tax dollars given to the “less fortunate”, the very same ones occupier and thief keeps referencing. It is the perfect way to tax the stupid. The lottery has and
always will target the weak of mind and character. Until you get rid of the moochers who only seek
to steal from the producers we will continue to have idiotic programs such as the lottery.

BTW, no more paid pre-K. If the state ever really did an investigation they would find that it is largely just paid day care. The lottery should only pay for students who produce. That means that average and ordinary won’t cut it. In public schools no student taking a basic college prep curriculum would be allowed the HOPE their first 2 years of college. A GPA of 3.5 or above would be required to become eligible for honors and AP courses and would be required of ALL HOPE recipients. That would eliminate a ton of people who really are not college material anyway.

FLUSHLIMBORTZ

March 19th, 2012
1:39 pm

One thing for sure. DAWG aint no Hope recipient. He should be arrested for mutilating the english language.

Common Cause

March 19th, 2012
1:39 pm

Makes you feel good about Georgia. How much of the money was SSI, Disability, Unemployment, and plain government give out programs. Obama, save us….

darb

March 19th, 2012
1:40 pm

The lottery is nothing but a tax for stupid folks

Robbie

March 19th, 2012
1:40 pm

Is rooster fighting still legal? I remember watching it with daddy and grandpappy when I was younger. My pappy always could choose the winner, he always had the biggest in the ring.

Joke24

March 19th, 2012
1:41 pm

So what are u saying Contractor? That blacks only play cash 3 because they cant count to 4? I dont get your point.

LaQuidra

March 19th, 2012
1:42 pm

No need to get racist. Im black and I buy lottery tix. So what? Some day I will win and I can quite my job at Arbys

D'Cornbread

March 19th, 2012
1:44 pm

A y’all making this a blank thang, oh hell no. Everyone in my city of Atlanta workplace plays, and we have one token white guy

Joke24

March 19th, 2012
1:45 pm

Black strippers are the best, they know how to shake that booty

Jay

March 19th, 2012
1:46 pm

We’re also first in bank failures and alternate with Las Vegas being tops in sex trafficking. But look on the bright side, UGA is also the number one party school in the country. We’re in the top five of housing foreclosures, but that’s balanced by finally passing a law requiring pickup truck drivers to wear seat belts (dead last in the country to do this). Are we also still first in illegal arms sales?? Top top it off, Atlanta is home to the woman with the biggest chest in the country. (Now, that’s according to SPIKE TV. I believe this could be so, considering …)

Do the Math

March 19th, 2012
1:47 pm

If the average is over $470 per year, and I have spent exactly $2 ever on lottery tickets, somebody is spending considerably more. I think the motto for any lottery should be “Hey, we’re a voluntary tax for people who are really bad at probability!”

Contractor

March 19th, 2012
1:47 pm

Joke24,

My point is that lower class blacks and whites are the suckers and that they are using their government money to pay for lottery tickets instead of using the money for what it is intended for. Try reading a little more into what I posted before you comment and make yourself look stupid. And for all I know, Cash 3 is the only drawing that is done twice a day, and black people are always trying to win it, so they play every chance they get. This is from what I’ve seen and actually been told by the same individuals I speak of at the job site.

ThanksAbunch

March 19th, 2012
1:48 pm

I would like to personally thank the people of Fulton, Dekalb, and Clayton Counties for paying for the lottery sponsored educations for high income whites in Cobb County. Thank you so much!!

DAWG FAN FROM DOUGLISVILLE

March 19th, 2012
1:48 pm

JAY U MUST BE AN ANGRY LOOSER TECH FAN