What Percentage of Lottery Winners Go Broke? (Plus 35 More Statistics)

by Ryan Hart | Updated on December 3, 2018 | Post may contain affiliate links

In this post you’ll learn what percentage of lottery winners go broke and other shocking statistics about lotto winners.

In fact:

You’ll learn the biggest myth about how many lottery winners declare bankruptcy each year.

Let’s get started.

What Percentage of Lottery Winners Go Bankrupt?

  • The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) denies that 70 percent of lottery winners end up bankrupt within five years after receiving a large financial windfall. This is an incorrect statistic that has been credited to the organization by Time, Fortune Magazine and many others.
  • Lottery winners are more likely to declare bankruptcy within three-to-five years than the average American (CFPBS).
  • Nearly one-third of lottery winners eventually declare bankruptcy (CFPBS).

Who Plays the Lottery?

  • 55 percent of those who play lottery games at least once month have incomes of $55,000 or more (NASPL)
  • 44 percent of lottery players nationwide have incomes of $55,000 (Vision Critical)
  • 20 percent of the lottery players account for 71 percent of lottery income (NASPL)
  • Americans spend an average of $206.69 on lottery tickets each year (LendEDU).

How Many People Play the Lottery?

  • About half of Americans say they have bought a state lottery ticket within the last year (Gallup)
  • 60-80% of adults over 18 purcahse a lottery ticket at one time or another (Weinstein and Deitch).
  • 64% of lottery winners are over the age of 50 (Kaplan).

What Are the Odds of Winning the Lottery?

  • The odds of winning the lottery are greater than getting struck by lightning. Over 1,300 tickets won at least $1,000,000 on either Powerball or Mega Millions from 2013 to 2015. Only 67 lightning fatalities occured during the same time period in the United States where the lottery is played (NASPL)

How Do Lottery Winners Spend Their Money?

  • 37% invested in stocks, bonds or real estate (Kaplan)
  • 17% of winners used the money to liquidate debts (Kaplan)
  • 23% of winners used the money to buy a house (Kaplan)
  • 20% used some of their winnings to remodel their house (Kaplan)
  • 37% used lottery winnings to take a vacation (Kaplan)

How Many Lottery Winners Give Away Their Money?

  • 33% of winners gave money to their children (Kaplan)
  • 17% of winners gave money to relatives (Kaplan)
  • 10% gave substaintial sums to charity or churches (Kaplan)

How Much Do People Spend on Lottery Tickets?

  • U.S. lottery sales totaled $80.5 billion (USD) in 2016. Canadian sales reached $10.3 billion (CAD) during the same time period (NASPL).
  • Massachusetts residents spend an average of $734.85 on lottery tickets each year (LendEDU)
  • Rhode Island residents spend an average of $513.75 on lottery tickets each year (LendEDU)
  • Delaware residents spend an average of $420.82 on lottery tickets each year (LendEDU)
  • New York residents spend an average of $398.77 on lottery tickets each year (LendEDU)
  • West Virginia residents spend an average of $359.78 on lottery tickets each year (LendEDU)

Which States Generate the Most Revenue from Lottery Ticket Sales?

  • New York generated $9.69 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • California generated $6.28 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • Florida generated $6.06 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • Massachusetts generated $5.22 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • Texas generated $5.07 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • Georgia generated $4.56 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • Pennsylvania generated $4.14 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • Ohio generated $3.93 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • New Jersey generated $3.29 billion in lottery revenue (2016)
  • Michigan generated $3.1 billion in lottery revenue (2016)

Lottery Winner Statistics

Now It's Your Turn

And now I’d like to hear from you:

Why do you think so many lottery winners go broke?

Or maybe you have a question about one of the statistics?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

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Comment on this article:

Comments:

Ryan Hart
Would you save or spend your money if you won the lotto? Please leave a comment and let me know.
John
"The odds of winning the lottery are greater than getting struck by lightning. Over 1,300 tickets won at least $1,000,000 on either Powerball or Mega Millions from 2013 to 2015. Only 67 lightning fatalities occuRred during the same time period in the United States where the lottery is played (NASPL)" I was skeptical reading the article since the first line of it but I stopped reading right there... How could the lottery winners (even if we include 2nd place winners which draws about 1.000.000) be 1300 in a 3 year period? a year has 365 days so three years have about 1095 days that means that each day more than 1 winner should occur yet these lotteries (powerball and megamillions) have a gap of atleast 3 days between drawings.... which makes the the "1300" winners claim even more unlikely to be true maybe winners total (like even those who won a dollar ) -also the statistic about the probability being lower than the one for you to be hit by a lightning is for jackpot winners example 6 out of 6 among 45 numbers or more but i digress- furthermore the average fatalities from lightning deaths in USA are about 56 per year....
Ryan Hart
Hi John, thanks for your comment. The statistic you quoted is from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. What is the source of your data?