As the economy falters, one thing people aren’t cutting back on is lottery tickets, the New York Times reports. In fact, higher unemployment rates usually mean higher lottery sales, says one study, and sales are hitting record highs in at least 22 states. “With companies tightening and not giving cost-of-living increases, you have to try to make money elsewhere,” said one regular player.
The economy isn’t the only reason for the rise. There’s also been a marketing push, including new, more expensive games that offer the chance for a bigger payout. And if the slump lasts long enough, the trend might reverse as players get fed up. But for now, as one store owner put it, “Everyone is looking for a rainbow.”