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Should You Buy Lottery Tickets or save the Money?

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National lotteries have proved hugely popular since their inception, with a recent report finding that a staggering 70% of the UK’s over 18s regularly participate in the draw. This could be due, in part, to a number of recent stories of people landing the jackpot and winning eyewatering sums of money. But is the act of purchasing a lottery ticket a wise move? Or would the money be better used saved for other means?

Risk vs Reward

There is little doubt that Britons have tightened up their spending in recent years. A recent survey on money saving tips, such as the ‘financial diet’, found that 17% of people wanted to cut down on their frivolous spending from the previous year. Yet, online gambling revenue has continued to rise, and lottery participation has seen no real downturn. Perhaps the main reason for the continued success of the National Lottery has been its commitment to huge jackpots, with over 5,000 new millionaires created since 1994.

Statistics show that you have significantly less chance of winning money from the lottery than with other gambling mediums such as online casinos. However, the National Lottery has proven to be one of the best to play as the chance of winning money is a respectable 11.11%. To put that in perspective, the German Lotto’s chance of winning money is 3.23%. Whilst online casinos may provide gamblers with a better chance of winning money, they are often more expensive to play and have significantly smaller jackpot prizes. So, it is no real surprise that the National Lottery remains the most popular form of gambling in the UK.

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Charities & Record Wins

One of the pulls of the National Lottery is that around a quarter of the money spent goes to good causes, such as charities, heritage projects, sport, and the arts. In total, over £42 billion has been raised for these causes since the National Lottery began, and this figure has undoubtedly helped numerous charities and businesses to continue functioning. As such, those playing any National Lottery games on a regular basis can contribute to National Lottery charities carrying on with their work.

Whilst charitable donations may feature in people’s thoughts about whether or not to play the lottery, it’s also important to acknowledge the appeal of winning the jackpot on offer. The record prize won in the UK is currently the £170.2 million EuroMillions jackpot landed in October 2019 – eclipsing the £161.6 million picked up by Colin and Chris Weir back in 2011. Wins such as these are without a doubt the main reason that most people play the lottery. Whilst they do not quite match some of the jackpots offered in countries like the USA, they are by far big enough to maintain the lottery’s popularity.

Although it would be ill-advised to bank on a lottery win as a way of gaining wealth, its continued popularity suggests that it will continue to be a source of entertainment for Britons. When gauging whether to play the lottery or not, the risk vs reward element should come into play – as well as whether or not the money spent on a ticket could be better used elsewhere in your respective budget.

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