Millennials Reject Folly of Lotteries

The young ones, it seems, have figured out the ruse behind the whole lottery machine — and they aren’t buying into it.

The latest data out of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. tells a tale of an aging business that isn’t keeping step with a younger generation that’s demonstrated a decided indifference for playing the lotto. Among Ontarians who buy lottery tickets at least once a week, a mere 13% are under age 35. What’s more, the mean age of those players who take a run at their chances at least weekly is 52 — positively ancient from a millennial point of view.

“The two national lottery products,” a recently issued request for proposals by the country’s gaming industry reads, referencing Lotto 6-49 and Lotto Max, “are experiencing historic levels of decline for the young adult demographic … by anywhere from eight to 31%.”

“If we do not attract younger players … to play lottery games, over time, the lottery business is at risk of decline.”

Still, the country’s provincial lottery agencies, joining forces in a brainstorming bid to develop a game of chance that will attract millennials into the fold, aren’t giving up easily. Ideally, they hope to land upon an idea attractive enough to the texting/video-gaming/Instagramming generation that they’ll lay down some of their hard-won cash on a game of chance.

At Hoyes Michalos we have a different perspective. All too often we find ourselves sorting through the messy aftermath of lottery fans’ tendencies or even fantasies. The captivation with lotteries is all too often seen as a miracle solution to getting free of overwhelming debt or saving for retirement. It’s viewed as the ultimate way out. For others, lotteries have just become a weekly habit, something you do just like picking up the newspaper. However sinking funds into perpetually losing lottery gambits is not a financial solution.

Our recommendation, to both young and old? Avoid the things altogether. That means sidestepping the scratch-and-wins at the checkout, resisting whatever novel innovation the lottery folks devise to woo you in and — most critical of all — making a financial plan and sticking to it.

If debts are your problem, rather than shoot for the lottery, save the anguish and money from the get-go, and make an appointment with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Anything else is gambling on your future.

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