KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH-AM covering local news from Houston and across Texas.


When You Can’t Afford to Get Lucky

The allure of instant riches when times are tough seems a logical association, but there hasn’t been a major study of the sale of lottery tickets during inflationary pressures.

Maybe it’s because sales are most influenced by the size of Powerball and Mega Million jackpots, independent of recessions, though scratchers are the most popular type of ticket purchased. When the two nationwide jackpots hit that sweet-spot threshold of $400 million the casual player steps in to buy a ticket.

One thing that is a direct correlation is the price of gas and the sale of lottery tickets, because geographically they tend to happen at the same place. “This year we’re seeing a slight slowdown, and I definitely think that has something to do most importantly with the cost of gasoline, because many of our tickets are purchased at convenience stores that sell gas,” says Gary Grief, Executive Director of the Texas Lottery Commission. So far in fiscal 2022, Texas has sold $5.395 billion in scratch off tickets, $288 million in Powerball sales and $167.5 million in Mega Millions.

Last year was a banner year for the Texas Lottery Commission, Grief tells KTRH News. They sold more than $8 billion worth of tickets, and all-time high.

2022 is on par to keep pace, even though gas prices are at historic highs. Where they are seeing the decline is in growth. “We’re seeing, on the scratch ticket sales in particular, just a slight downturn, but that said, I still expect us to do over $8 billion again this year, we’re just not seeing the growth we’ve been seeing year over year.”

It makes sense that sales have been growing year over year because the population of Texas is growing year over year.

In 2020, Texas sold $5,288,678,511 worth of tickets.

In 2021, $6,543,730,752.

Fiscal 2022 is up .1%.

Both Powerball and MegaMillion lotteries are over $300 million, so analysts will be comparing past performance during high-value jackpots with the impact higher gas prices are having on current sales.

photo: Getty Images

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