Lotteries are big businesses in most states, and they can provide windfalls for both the winning ticket-holders and state coffers. In the case of lotteries that include multiple states like Mega Millions and Powerball, jackpots have hit records of over $300 million.
The guaranteed winners of lotteries, though, are state treasuries, which can receive several hundred million dollars a year on annual ticket sales of over $1 billion. The costs of operating a lottery are relatively low, the margins are excellent, and in this new era of government austerity, the funds they generate are even more important. Many states rely on lottery revenues to beef up education budgets: In New York, the lottery accounts for 5 percent of education spending. In others, the money goes into the general fund.
But the numbers that might most interest individuals are their own odds of winning. Business news website 24/7 Wall St.
has compiled a list of the 10 states that pay out the most in lottery winnings. The figures used are based on the most recently available full data, which is from 2009. It turns out that the best states in which to buy a ticket don't change much from year to year. So which state holds the crown? Read on to find out.
(AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain) The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.