Lottery officials credit the spike to a new Scratcher game that began last fall. All 36 million tickets printed are expected to sell out by the end of the month, but one expert says it is not how you play the game, it is who plays it.
"When people feel like they have less money and less economic security, they spend more money on lottery tickets," says Prof. Kit Yarrow at Golden Gate University. "The very people that shouldn't be buying lottery tickets, those with the least amount of money, are the most likely to increase spending in a bad economy."
But, state lottery officials say according to their data, the games are played almost equally by people across the economic spectrum.
One good thing nobody can argue is that the big winners are schools, which get about a third of the lottery's proceeds.