It's been all over the news that South Carolina is strongly considering a state lottery to help fund state education, and one of the more interesting stories to come from the discussions is a rundown of the statistics of the typical lottery player.
Governor Jim Hodges wants to do his homework before the talks proceed any further, including confirming or discounting the fact that organized lotteries often prey on the poor, which is his citizens' primary opposition to the lottery.
He held a conference call on Monday with officials from other states to discuss the lottery in their states. The results were similar among the states surveyed. In Georgia, the average player is male making $35,000 to $50,000 annually, and there are three groups that do not tend to play: anyone from age 18 to age 22, the very rich, and the very poor. Nationwide the average player is a man or woman making $25,000 to $40,000.
This, and the fact that lotteries have made a difference in funding education, including college scholarhips and day care programs, was enough to convince Hodges that the state ought to move forward with its plans.