The title should read: “About half of Americans are bad at math.” But we already knew that.
Roughly half of Americans say they have bought a state lottery ticket within the last year, similar to the figures recorded in 2003 and 2007, but down considerably from the 57% who said they played the state lottery in 1996 and 1999. This trend has occurred even as the number of states with lotteries grew over this period from 37 states and the District of Columbia to 44.
These latest data are from a Gallup survey conducted June 14-23. The exact reason for the decline in Americans’ reports of playing the lottery during the last 13 years is not clear, although gamblers now also have a wider range of gambling avenues from which to choose, including the proliferation of online poker and online fantasy sports leagues.