The Effect of Education on Lottery Participation


Many states and the District of Columbia have a lottery that you can play for cash prizes. In fact, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have all had a lottery since the 1970s. Six more have been added since the 1990s, including South Carolina.


The lottery is a very old concept. Before the Dutch even coined the word, there were many ancient games that involved drawing lots to determine ownership. These games were common in Europe and were used to settle legal disputes, assign property rights, and even assign unpopular jobs. The first European lottery dates back to 1612, when King James I of England started a lottery to fund the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia. From that point, lottery funding was used by governments and private organizations to fund projects like public works and towns.


There are a number of different types of lottery. Many players choose to enter a lottery because they enjoy the possibility of winning a large prize. These games require a certain amount of discretionary cash, and the proceeds of these games are usually used for the public good.

Probability of winning

Probability of winning a lottery is a measure of how likely a person is to win a large prize. For example, a woman with a bachelor’s degree will have a 17 percent greater chance of winning the lottery than a man with a bachelor’s degree. The lottery is a highly regressive tax, so a person’s education is an important factor in improving the chances of winning big.

Taxes on winnings

The tax rates for lottery winners vary depending on where you live. For example, lottery winners in New York City will have to pay at least 3.876% of their prize money in state taxes. In Yonkers, the rate is even lower at 1.477%. For lottery winners living in New York State, the rate is as high as 8.82%.

Number of states that offer lotteries

There are 48 jurisdictions in the United States that operate lotteries. This number does not include Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Of these jurisdictions, forty-two offer state-wide lotteries and five do not. Currently, the two most popular games are Powerball and Mega Millions, which are available in most states.

Influence of education level

This article examines the influence of education level on lottery participation. The authors find that lottery earmarking reduces need-based financial aid by about 12 percent. This is an important issue for state legislatures to consider when adopting lottery policies in higher education.