A March report on national lotteries has been making the headlines recently, as it illustrates some important details about the demographics of common players.
Commissioned by the National Lotteries Commission and conducted by the Bureau of Market Research, the information revealed by this document paints a picture of who bets the most and the most commonly.
Perhaps more importantly, it also looks and raises questions as to why.
Looking at the Players
State endorsed lottery games often find themselves among the most popular a nation can offer, though this is perhaps unsurprising. These were far from the only avenues measured however, instead, the survey also includes international variants such as the European lottery, as well as casino games, and sports betting.
According to the survey, 35% of survey participants had engaged in some game of chance within the previous 12 months. Of those who did enjoy the lottery, 47.4% played some version of the game weekly. 47.7% of participants, on the other hand, responded that they had never once placed a bet on any form of gambling.
Of those who were engaged in this world, the average quantity spent on playing was R156 a month. In total, the nationwide expenditure on 2017/2018 gambling reached a measured R34.4-billion.
What interests us the most out of this, is the 70% of measured players who actively dream of winning the lottery, and how the decision-making process, pre-and-post win, can tell us a lot about a person’s personality.
The Why of Lottery
The simple answer to the question of why people bet on these games, is because they want to win. In a realistic sense, it should be noted that most of us realise winning the first division is a dream. A dream which, by random chance, might be possible, but it’s still a dream nonetheless.
So, why do we keep playing?
In many cases, the answer is found not in any real expectation, but among the 70% of players who actively dream of winning. For a small purchase every month, players are given the opportunity to imagine. In a dull moment at work, on a drive, or even at home doing chores, this gives us an opportunity to exercise our creativity.
After all, deciding on what we would do if we won a lottery is a very interesting question which can reveal a great deal about a person’s character.
For example, how would you handle work? Would you go in and finish out the week, helping prepare your workmates for the gap which your leaving would create? Or would you instead make a show of turning up only to give the bosses a piece of your mind?
What would be the first thing you would buy, or do? Would you secure a mortgage, or pay off a long-standing student loan? Or would you rather head straight to a car dealership, and trade up for something you’ve always wanted?
How would you treat your family, and who might you hide money from in the best interests of everyone?
Winning is only part of why we bet on the lottery, whether we realise it or not. Of all the players out there, only a few will take home the biggest payout but, for the rest of us, there are still major positive opportunities we can gain from the experience.
What do your dreams of winning tell you about who you are as a person, and how might it change you? If nothing else, it’s an interesting thought-experiment.