The Most Lottery-Happy States

Feeling Lucky

Every once in a while the Mega Millions jackpot will climb above $300 million, and the country will go bonkers buying lottery tickets until it gets claimed. It’s happening right now, in fact: The Mega Millions jackpot stands at $312 million as of this writing, and there are a whole lot of people stopping by the convenience store to grab a quick pick or play their lucky numbers. But even when there isn’t a chance for a nine-figure payout, there are some people who just love playing the lottery. The U.S. Census gathers state-by-state data on ticket sale revenue by state-administered lottery programs, so we decided to combine that with adult population estimates to see where residents are spending the most on lottery tickets of all types. Here then, are the 10 states with the highest per-resident lottery spending in 2009 (the latest year available), along with how much the average resident is winning for every dollar he or she spends. Photo Credit: Lisa Brewster