British Columbia

Millennial lottery players have unrealistic expectations, poll shows

Pollster, Research Co. said a new poll shows the youngest lottery players "have bigger dreams than their older counterparts."

58 per cent of those surveyed bought a lottery ticket in last year, survey says

Lotto 649 tickets and scratch cards. (Katherine Holland/CBC)

The chances may be astronomical but a new poll by Research Co. shows expectations are erroneously high when people buy lottery tickets.

The poll shows millennials are the more hopeful than older lottery players when it comes to the idea of winning big.

For some, it could be that seeing big winners promotes big dreams.

In 2016, a Kelowna grandmother, June Bergh, hit a $50 million Lotto Max jackpot.

June Bergh won $50 million in a Lotto Max draw in 2016. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

When Bergh was asked about how she would spend her money, she said "maybe have a little better place to live."

But that's not how the lottery plays out for the majority of people who play.

Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., said the new online poll showed people foster false expectations versus the odds.

"It's fun when the day of your birthday or the day you get married is the one that gets picked, maybe you get a couple of dollars after that, but to do this with the effort of trying to win is probably going to go against you because of mathematics," Canseco said.

The online poll surveyed 800 adults between between Sept. 11 and Sept. 14. It is considered accurate within 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Findings from that lottery poll showed 41 per cent do not anticipate they will win anything, and 38 per cent say they expect to get "a small prize" but 21 per cent foresee winning "a big prize."

The margin of error is considered accurate with 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Joseph Katalinic was presented with his record-breaking $60 million cheque Aug 21, 2019, at BCLC's Vancouver headquarters. (BCLC)

In August, retired Richmond fisherman Joseph Katalinic won $60 million after matching seven numbers in a Lotto max draw.

The odds were more than 33 million to one.

According to the poll, 24 per cent of those aged 18-to-34 do not believe they will win a prize. That lowered expectation goes up as lottery players get older. It increases to 40 per cent among those aged 35-to-54 who were surveyed. And the diminished belief in winning is 50 per cent among those aged 55 and over.

Canseco said that could be attributed to older people having more experience in playing and losing lotteries.

Even so, 58 per cent of the 800 people polled bought a lottery ticket in the past year.