We are a nation of optimistic gamblers, despite glaring evidence that this is a terrible idea. Americans average $70 per month on lottery tickets, according to Census data, which rises to $132 per month among 65-74 year olds. That’s $1,584 per year.
Now a new survey from Bankrate finds that people with incomes under $30,000 spend 13% of their income on lottery tickets. “The odds of winning are slim to none, but residents of states across the country continue to drain their checking accounts and buy tickets.”
If everyone put those funds toward their credit card balances, which average $6,194, U.S. consumer credit card debt would be entirely wiped out.
The same survey found that grandparents spend $7,982 per year on alcohol, which is four times what millennials spend. So there you have it: Our elders are tipsy lotto fiends.