Report: rise in lottery scratch-offs lures poor the most

Image courtesy Florida Lottery via Facebook

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – A new analysis of Florida Lottery scratch-off games shows a renewed sales push most often lures people who live in poor areas.

The SunSentinel reported Sunday that in areas of highest poverty, one in six households spent at least $10 of every $1,000 in income on the games in 2010. Last year, that rate grew to one in three households.

The newspaper reports that sales of scratch-off games rose from $2 billion in 2010 to $3.7 billion last year. About $832 million of the increase – a little more than half – came from high-poverty areas, which represent 32 percent of the state’s ZIP codes.

Lottery officials say there was no intent to appeal specifically to poor residents. They attribute the success of scratch-offs to a broad-based marketing push. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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