16 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About the Lottery  

Conner Schwerdtfeger
427k views 16 items

Times are tough, money is tight, and we’ve all thought about how amazing it might be to win the lottery. Few things are more American than the hope of winning millions of dollars for doing zero work, right? Lottery winners are living the American dream!

However, the lottery has become an increasingly polarizing concept over the years. To a select minority, winning the lottery has proven to be a stroke of good fortune; for others it has led to financial ruin. For some winners, the money is put to good use and helps them get a step up in life. However, while these stories do exist, there are just as many other lottery winner stories that will make you want to never buy a ticket in the first place.

So like all things, the lottery has its good elements as well as its bad, but its up to us to make the distinction. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of lottery fun facts, statistics, and anecdotes associated with playing the lottery.

In California, $63 Million Went Unclaimed and Was Forfeited
In California, $63 Million Wen... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 16 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About the Lottery
Photo:  ABC 7 News

In February 2016, the California Mega Millions jackpot went unclaimed, despite a store selling the winning ticket in August. By law, after 180 days, the prize is forfeited, so the $63 million prize went California's schools. However, a man who claimed he'd actually won AND claimed the prize sued the Lottery just before the deadline, claiming that he'd mailed in the winning ticket, only to be told it was too damaged to confirm.

The lawsuit was still pending when the February 4 deadline passed.
One Should Never Tip with Lottery Tickets
One Should Never Tip with Lott... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 16 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About the Lottery
Photo: Thomas Hawk/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0
Oregon bartender Aurora Kephart was serving her regulars one night when a patron tipped her with two Keno tickets. While the first ticket paid out a respectable $5 tip, the second won her $17,500. She tried to return the ticket to its owner, but he let her keep the money.
Winning Kills Your Social Life
Winning Kills Your Social Life is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 16 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About the Lottery
Photo:  SJJP/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
At least 90% of lottery winners lose friends as a result of their good fortune. The reasons behind this often stem from jealousy and resentment when money is not handed out willingly to friends. It's also reported that male winners will give money to roughly three friends, while women will do so for just one.
Poor People Spend the Most Money on Lottery Tickets
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Video: YouTube

The average American earning an average salary spends roughly $162 on lottery tickets every year. However, those who make less than $10,000 spend roughly $597 annually on tickets. Perhaps it's desperation, or perhaps it's optimism, but this has led many to believe that the lottery actually preys on the hopes of those in poverty.