Lottery Addiction – Signs, Dangers and Where To Get Help
Last updated on November 22, 2020
Lottery addiction has often been discussed but rarely investigated.
The lottery is relatively inexpensive. The promise of a huge jackpot prize made it the most popular form of gambling among the masses. So naturally, it is seen as a socially acceptable form of gambling.
But the lottery, like any other form of gambling, is meant to be fun. The lottery is just entertainment. However, for a minority, losses from the lottery may lead to a desperate attempt to win back money rather than having fun.
Everyone who holds misconceptions about the random nature of the lottery is at risk of addiction. So, even those responsible players may develop irresponsible behavior.
And just because you can afford to gamble in the lottery, doesn’t mean you are not at risk. Lottery addiction has nothing to do with the financial capability of the gambler.
It’s how you behave when you play the lottery.
Table of Contents
7 Signs Of Lottery Addiction
So when it comes to a point where it’s taking a toll in your life, it’s a sign that you are into some addiction problem. It’s high time to reassess how you do gambling.
Here is a list of signs. If one of these applies to you, please seek professional help at once.
#1. You are pursuing the lottery at the expense of your savings
Playing the lottery may cost around $1 to $3 per game. Playing one game once in a while probably won’t be a big issue.
If you play multiple lines, then, playing all by yourself can be quite expensive. Some people choose to play with a lottery syndicate to avoid spending too much.
I know people who play the lottery with a budget of $120 per draw. While this may seem OK for some, this doesn’t sound practical for so many.
Not everyone is capable of allocating a massive budget for entertainment purposes.
In one study by Dr. Philip Cook and Dr. Charles Clotfelter, they found out that lotteries rely on a group of heavy-players who are disproportionately poor and have failed to complete high school education. 1
Playing the lottery is OK. But if you are unable to save money for entertainment, then, don’t play the lottery. The truth may hurt, but the lottery may not work for you. See my other post: Top 10 Lotto Betting Do’s and Don’ts.
Budgeting is important. You get to allocate a small portion of your income for lottery entertainment.
#2. You start to accumulate debts as a result of lottery gambling
What do compulsive gamblers do when their savings run out? They borrow money from all possible sources.
Our common sense tells us that it’s not correct to borrow money to play the lottery. But when you have exhausted all your resources to support your lotto habit, you will do everything.
Meaning, from maxing-out credit cards, and not paying the bills, to neglecting loans.
Then, it’s too late when you’ve finally realized. You’ve piled up massive debt due to gambling.
Studies show that as many as 23 million Americans go into debt because of gambling. And the average loss is estimated to be around $55,000. In the lottery alone, U.S. citizens spent an average of $219.54 on the Lottery in 2017. 2 , 3
Unfortunately, compulsive gamblers can have easy access to short-term loans. The two particular loans are payday loans and student loans. This easy access has led Ryan Myers to pile up on too many loans. Until one day he decided to commit suicide at the age of 27. 4
A parallel report from BBC shows that some students have run up gambling debts of £10,000 or more, a Gambling Commission director has told the Victoria Derbyshire programme. 5
#3. You develop the habit of lying
Every Tom, Dick, and Harry lies. Tell me someone who doesn’t.
Lying is human. But for most of us, we try not to do it.
But if you start to get addicted to gambling, lying becomes inevitable.
When money is not available, you borrow from family and then friends.
And that’s when you become more creative — at making up lies after lies.
Of course, this is neither the best time nor the best way to hone a skill. Is it?
#4. You resort to theft and fraud
If lying has any relative, theft and fraud are its worse cousins.
Because if lying is not enough to support your lottery gambling, you resort to something worse.
Research conducted by The Scottish Centre for Social Research or ScotGen found that 1 of 10 gamblers had committed theft.
Apparently, addiction to the lottery can have long-lasting consequences for the individual. But it can also have severe impacts on your family, friends, and the community. At first, you rob your family. Then your friends. Then later the people in your neighborhood.
#5. You stuck in a vicious circle
Players who develop compulsive gambling problem tend to keep chasing for the money they had lost previously.
If you think that you lost because you change strategies, you got it all wrong.
If you think that you lost because you were not lucky, think again.
A 14 million chance in a Lotto 649 cannot make room for superstitions. Lucky numbers or horoscope numbers will never work.
The whole idea of the lottery is pure and simple: FUN.
You play the lottery because you want to enjoy it. You experience the excitement of possibly winning the jackpot. So, your losses are just the price of entertainment. Much the same way as concert tickets are the price of a good time.
Therefore, there is no point in chasing the money you lose in the lottery.
#6. You are too preoccupied with lottery gambling
If you are always thinking about the lottery, it’s a sign that your habit is taking control of you.
You start to neglect your work, business, career, and family.
And that’s where the trouble begins.
If this behavioral pattern persists, everything in your life will start to vanish. One by one. Your job. Business. Career. Your family. Even your own life.
Justyn Larcombe, a former army major, told BBC in July 2013 how gambling had ruined his life. 6 He had gambled £750,000. His wife had left him with their two sons. He had lost his six-figure salary job. He accumulated £70,000 debt before returning to his mother in Kent with nothing but a bin bag of clothes.
Fortunately for Justyn, he recovered. He didn’t resort to a tragic ending like the story of a 16-year-old boy who attempted suicide after losing $6000 on lottery tickets. 7
#7. You keep on playing the lottery despite your desire to stop
You know when enough is enough, but you can’t control the temptation.
This case is a perfect description of your habit controlling you and not the other way around. You feel restless or irritable when you don’t play.
And sometimes you need to gamble whenever you feel anxious, lonely, guilty, or depressed. If you’re addicted, you think that the only way to avoid temptation is to yield to it. 8
Proper behavior towards gambling requires self-control.
Lottery Addiction and a Major Misconception
All lottery players are at risk of addiction. But what leads a player to problem gambling is still unknown.
Many studies indicate that the majority of players hold a lot of misconceptions about the lottery.
This wrong notion about the game contributes to lottery addiction.
In fact, some people don’t believe that a lottery is a form of gambling. They think that the habit will not develop into an addiction. That addiction is only possible from substance abuse. And not from an activity such as buying a lotto ticket.
And that’s how the problem starts. Because you can’t fix something you don’t believe exists.
But many studies indicate that players experience excitements and thrill from the pursuit of the jackpot prize.
A study conducted by the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery shows similar biological processes between addiction from gambling and addiction from substance. 9
In a parallel study, experts at the Harvard Medical School Division on Addictions tell:
“Monetary reward in a gambling-like experiment produces brain activation very similar to that observed in a cocaine addict receiving an infusion of cocaine.”
What to do as a lottery player
The truth, even the most talented math prodigy will not tell you the next winning numbers in the lottery.
And neither will I.
There’s really no trick to winning a lottery. The fact remains. You need patience and persistence but at least you can use a little bit of mathematical strategy to get the best shot possible and increase your chances of winning the lotto. So Lotterycodex is not about “predicting” the lottery.
I am all for exploring the application of math in the lottery. No more. No less.
Certainly, lottery success takes a long journey.
I offer this free guide The Lottery and the Winning Formula of Combinatorics and Probability Theory, so you never waste money. Because the lottery is full of number combinations that are unlikely to occur.
But I recognize the fact. Lottery addiction may develop. Therefore, I propose this equation:
Persistence + Math + Proper attitude = Lottery Success
So, proper attitudes speak about a lot of things. One of them includes handling your existing resources. And another one is the way you behave towards lottery gambling.
I would like to nurture you into a smart lottery player with a proper game plan. (See my other post: The Lottery Game Plan)
When we talk about the lottery game plan, we talk about timing. And you can only implement your game when you have the right attitude.
If you follow the game plan to the dot, lottery addiction is not possible.
Resources to help you understand problem gambling and lottery addiction
The impact of lottery addiction on the individual player and society can come in many ways. Below are resources to help you understand more about lottery addiction:
Where to get help from lottery addiction
If lottery addiction aggravates and it’s affecting your life negatively, it’s time to seek help. Good to know, there is hope.
The following organizations have helped thousands of problem gamblers like you (if you are already). Choose the service that will be convenient for you according to your location or situations.
Join a fellowship of men and women who come together to solve a common problem. Gamblersanonymous.org is a worldwide free service that helps gamblers recover from the gambling problem.
Meetings are the core feature of the group and schedules are available in many countries.
Becoming a member of Gamblers Anonymous is free. The only requirement for membership is your desire to stop gambling.
Gamblers Anonymous gets its funding mainly from self-support and contributions. Gamblers Anonymous is independent of any political or religious organization.
GamCare has chatrooms every day. You can chat live with the advisers from 8-am to midnight every day of the year.
A helpline is open for anyone living in England, Scotland, and Wales. Calls to the Helpline are free from landlines and most mobile networks.
For someone living in other areas, you can contact them through email, postal mail, or phone. Visit their contact page for more information.
The Christian Centre for Gambling Rehabilitation
Are you a Chinese-speaking gambler who lives in the UK? Then go to The Christian Centre for Gambling Rehabilitation.
They provide counseling, money advice, and group meetings. Their service includes financial management and liaising with clients and creditors to find a mutually acceptable solution.
If you live in South Africa, then, the nearest one is The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation (S.A.R.G.F). The organization has treated more than 16,000 problem gamblers for the past 16 years.
Their program includes educating South Africans about the dangerous effect of problem gambling. The counseling services operate 24/7.
With their treatment program, you expect to get free, professional, and confidential counseling, a thorough assessment of your gambling activity.
National Council on Problem Gambling
If you live in Singapore, then, you can go to National Council on Problem Gambling. This organization is a 15-member council with expertise in diverse fields. Their specialization includes psychiatry, psychology, social welfare, counseling, legal, rehabilitation, and religious services.
On their website, though, some of the problem gamblers get featured on the homepage. So, if confidentiality is important to you, then go to Gamblers Anonymous Singapore instead.
Do you want to talk about your problem? Go to Samaritans.
You don’t have to be suicidal. With Samaritans, you can have someone ready to listen to whatever’s getting to you.
This organization is a counseling service available to anyone through 201 branches across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.If left untreated, lottery addiction can disrupt lives. Know the warning signs, the dangers, and how you can get help to treat it. ]]>