Georgia Lottery Players, Also Known as Suckers

The lottery players in the state of Georgia are the biggest suckers in a nation buying more than $50 billion a year in tickets for state-run games, which have the worst odds of any form of legal gambling.

According to Bloomberg:

Georgia residents spent an average $470.73 on the lottery in 2010, or 1 percent of their personal income, while they received the sixth-highest prize payouts, 63 cents for each dollar spent, the Sucker Index shows. Only Massachusetts had higher spending, $860.70 per adult, more than three times the U.S. average.

Georgia had per capita income of $34,800 in 2010, below the national average of $39,945, while Massachusetts’s was higher at $51,302, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Massachusetts players were the biggest lottery winners, getting back almost 72 cents on the dollar, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg. That state still places second on the Sucker Index because spending as a percentage of personal income is the most, at 1.3 percent.

So how does the Sucker Index work? Bloomberg took the total spent on ticket sales in each state and subtracted the amount of lottery prizes awarded. The difference was divided by the total personal income of each state’s residents. Georgia was at the top (or bottom, depending on how you view it) of the list.

Conclusion: if the saying “There’s a sucker born every minute” holds any merit, there’s a very good chance he is living in Georgia.