People in New Jersey spend a lot on lottery tickets ... a lot. According to 24/7 Wall Street, the average adult in New Jersey spends $472.89 per year on lottery tickets, ranking us 6th in the US. In 2019, residents of the Garden State spent over $3 billion collectively to win a prize; some people did win: prize money awarded was $2.1 billion.

You can expect strong lottery sales this week with the Megamillions over $600 million and the Powerball at $550 million. Lottery sales have been strong in New Jersey this year; New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James Carey told News 12 New Jersey that sales dropped in the spring due to the pandemic, but have rebounded and are now running around 10% ahead of last year. Of course, the attention grabbing sums available in the multi-state drawings help drive sales and the jackpots haven’t been this big in quite a while.

According to 24/7 Wall Street, across the 44 states that have some kind of lottery available, Americans bought $81.6 billion worth of lottery tickets in 2019. These states doled out $52.7 billion in winnings, with the difference covering the costs of administering the lottery and going to pay for schools and other state programs. Massachusetts tops the list with lottery spending per adult of $991.28. Total lottery ticket sales across the state stand at $5.5 billion a year. The prize money awarded in 2019 reached $4.0 billion, which is $719.63 per adult.

Don’t get your hopes up, though. According to USA Today, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million, and the chances are even worse for Mega Millions at 1 in 302.5 million.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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