Millennials Don’t Really Play the Lottery

Depending on where you get your information from, I can be defined as not only a Gen Y, but a millennial as well. I thought millennials were only in the 18-30 age range, but I have read in one article where the age was extended to 34.  This particular article describes how lottery ticket sales with the younger generation are on the decline.  

If you have read my post on lottery pools at work, you’ll know that when it comes to money, I’m not really a gambler. I only play because of FOMO (fear of missing out). I personally think it’s a waste of money and that money could be put to better use, but I don’t want to be that sucker in case of the event we actually do win the lottery.

Image Courtesy of graur razvan ionut/

Image Courtesy of graur razvan ionut/

My workplace consists of mainly an older demographic and as I have mentioned in my lottery post, many of them play the lottery outside of work. My dad, along with my aunts and uncles had their own lottery pool. Since my dad played (I’m not sure if he still plays, now that he’s been retired for a few years) the lottery quite often, he would always joke and say, “If I win the lottery I’m going to buy you this and that.” I would often laugh and tell him that the odds of him winning the big jackpot are quite slim.  I also told him that he should stop wasting his money.

Aside from winning the $10,000 from Pro Line, he has won smaller, somewhat decent amounts such as a few hundred dollars, just from a $2 or $3 ticket. He just seems to be one of those people who are lucky in that sense.  Although he does joke about winning the big jackpot, in reality, he doesn’t want to win the big one because he feels everyone would be asking him for money. He’s probably right. It’s nice to have a lot of money, but better to keep it to yourself and be more like the “Millionaire Next Door”. I certainly wouldn’t want the general public to know I won the jackpot.

I don’t know anyone close to my age that plays the lottery on a regular basis. The people I know go to the casinos once in a while for fun or play online poker or poker with friends. They know their odds are better there than choosing random numbers and hoping for the best.

I rarely go to places such as convenience stores (just because the food is so expensive there) or pay for gas inside, where you can easily get lottery tickets. I walk right past the kiosk that sells lottery tickets and don’t even stop to think about buying a ticket.  I wouldn’t even bother to buy one just for fun.

The one page ads in the newspaper about “imagining the freedom” if you win, the TV and radio commercials- none of them make me want to buy a ticket. I know if you don’t play, you don’t have a chance at winning, but to me, it’s like trying to take a shortcut over and over again. This so-called shortcut puts you even further from getting to your financial freedom.

I prefer to get to financial freedom through good old-fashioned hard work.  I know my chances of reaching it through this method are way better.

Do you believe playing the lottery is more for the older generation? Why or why not?

16 thoughts on “Millennials Don’t Really Play the Lottery

  1. I’m from the older generation and don’t play the lottery. My husband likes to but I don’t let him (often). He used to drive me nuts because he would buy tickets and then never check them. Truth is, when I get scratch tickets in birthday or Christmas cards I actually loathe them. They are more of a nuisance to do them, and sometimes frustrating to figure out if you won or not, and them dragging them to a booth to get them checked or collect your $2 winnings once in a while. I’m like you, prefer to get my money from hard work. I feel winning a lot of money might be bad for us, so if we did I would like to donate a lot to charity.

  2. Now that you mention it, I can’t think of any friends of mine who play the lottery. Anyone who suggested buying a group ticket at work was always older (50+). Interesting observation!

    I don’t buy lottery tickets, not because I feel it’s for the older generation only, but because I feel like if I win, I will only earn back whatever I spent on the tickets (unless, of course, I hit the jackpot! Haha). I agree with you; I think my financial independence will come from hard work. If someone wants to buy me a lottery ticket, though… hey, I won’t argue with that!

    • If they did want to gamble, I think they’re better off playing the tables at the casino, although that could end up in a huge loss, if you’re not careful and don’t set a limit to start with.

  3. I’m not sure if I’m a millennial or not (33), but I don’t really play the lottery too often. Maybe twice a year.

    That being said, I played it Monday because I had a dream that I won and I quit my job… well, I’m at work right now, so my dreams lied to me. Good thing I only played $1

  4. I don’t ever play the lottery for myself, but I love picking up scratch off tickets as gifts when I’m not sure what to get a person. It’s sort of fun and who knows, maybe they’ll win a little something?

  5. Yeah, haven’t really thought of it. Every time someone mentions the lottery, my head goes all “The lottery is a tax on people who don’t understand statistics and probabilities.” But you’re right – I don’t know that millennials are big gamblers. Even on life things that might be considered “gambles” I don’t see millennials doing as much of that… (ie, buying houses!)

    • I felt I took on a big gamble when I first purchased my house. I thought it was so much money going into this one thing at the time. While I still feel that owning a house is a LOT of work and money, I find it’s doable.

    • That’s the main reason I don’t play the lottery. It’s great for the people that do win, because many of the people who win have worked very hard all their lives but had little money.

    • That’s interesting that you know a lot of millennials who play the lottery because I don’t know any. I just know people who gamble a lot or play online poker.

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