When Stock Market Fails, Try The Lottery

Lottery Traffic Up Among Wealthier Households

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Wealthier households are visiting lottery websites with more frequency than their lower income counterparts, Hitwise reports. Heather Hopkins’ investigation was prompted by AP report about rising sales of state scratch-off lottery tickets.

But web traffic would not reflect scratch-off tickets since winnings are known automatically and are instantly redeemable at the point of purchase. The seven percent year-over-year increase Hitwise is seeing is likely due to an increase in drawings for larger jackpots.

While it might not be surprising that bad economic times spur increased economic risk, but the demographic visiting lottery websites may be counterintuitive. The greatest gains are among households making between $60,000 and $99,999 and households making over $150,000. Among those making less than $30,000 annually, visits to lottery websites are significantly down.

When Stock Market Fails, Try The Lottery

One might imagine several reasons for a drop among the lower income bracket: significantly less discretionary spending, possible preference for scratch-offs, or equally as probable, limited or no Internet access.

Hopkins theorizes the wealthier segment is seeking low cost/high reward risk with discretionary income to offset losses in their investment portfolios. While that might explain the burst of activity, as the chart shows, it would not account for a decrease in lottery traffic among the $100,000-$149,000 income bracket.

Perhaps this demo is more likely to be a dual-income with kids household? This could why discretionary gambling is less important than squaring away nest eggs for, say, teens preparing to enter college. 

When Stock Market Fails, Try The Lottery
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