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When Are State Lotteries a Good Bet (Revisited)?

Author

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  • Victor Matheson

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

Abstract

Because the jackpots in lotto games are potentially unlimited, it has been speculated that these lotteries may have a positive expected return for high jackpots. While most previous work has concluded that the lotto rarely presents a player with a positive expected return, this paper modifies previous payoff models and finds several cases where a positive expected return has existed. Furthermore, contrary to the existing literature, purchasing every possible number combination for a particular lottery drawing increases the expected return to the purchaser and leads to further instances where state lotteries provide a fair bet.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Matheson, 2001. "When Are State Lotteries a Good Bet (Revisited)?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 55-70, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:27:y:2001:i:1:p:55-70
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/eeconj/Volume27/V27N1P55_70.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. S. Capacci & E. Randon & A. E. Scorcu, 2014. "Luck vs Skill in Gambling over the Recession. Evidence from Italy," Working Papers wp918, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Humphreys, Brad & Perez, Levi, 2011. "Lottery Participants and Revenues: An International Survey of Economic Research on Lotteries," Working Papers 2011-17, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    3. Matheson, Victor A. & Grote, Kent R., 2004. "Lotto fever: do lottery players act rationally around large jackpots?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 233-237, May.
    4. Hofer, Vera & Leitner, Johannes, 2011. "Should European gamblers play lotto in the USA?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 215(1), pages 181-187, November.
    5. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2006. "Dueling Jackpots: Are Competing Lotto Games Complements or Substitutes?," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(1), pages 85-100, March.
    6. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2011. "The Economics of Lotteries: A Survey of the Literature," Working Papers 1109, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    7. Kent R. Grote & Victor A. Matheson, 2006. "In Search of a Fair Bet in the Lottery," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 673-684, Fall.
    8. Kent Grote & Victor Matheson, 2011. "The Economics of Lotteries: An Annotated Bibliography," Working Papers 1110, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    9. Frank, Sascha & Rehm, Jan, 2007. "An unnoted fair bet in german state run lotteries, a short notice," MPRA Paper 5766, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014. "Media exposure and individual choices: Evidence from lottery players," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 385-391.
    11. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40797-016-0043-x is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Benjamin Y. Hayden & Sarah R. Heilbronner & Amrita C. Nair & Michael L. Platt, 2008. "Cognitive influences on risk-seeking by rhesus macaques," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 389-395, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lotteries; lottery; lotto;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • H27 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other Sources of Revenue

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