Cool New Black Lottery Ticket, Same Old Likelihood You’re Throwing Money Away

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A sleek new jet-black lottery ticket was designed with ritzy images of Johnnie Walker Black, the elite American Express black card, and Lotus Formula One race cars in mind. The $5 lottery ticket is being introduced in ads with fancy script fonts, and on first glance you might think they’re marketing decadent chocolates or gourmet coffee.

Why is this noteworthy? As the NY Times reports, the new lottery ticket (sold in New York) is the opposite of the typical cheeseball, flashy scratch-off game that might be lit up like a slot machine game or just feature leather bags stuffed with greenbacks.

The new ticket, by contrast, is classy. Understated. Upscale.

Are people dumb enough to buy into this dreck? Well, judging on who historically plays the lottery, yes, absolutely.

In a Q&A with Matthew Sweeney, author of The Lottery Wars, says:

A study by the Commission on Thrift reported that households with an income below $13,000 spend 9 percent of their money on lotteries. By comparison, households making $130,000 spend 0.3 percent of income on lotteries. The same report found average household spending on lotteries was about $525 a year in the U.S. A federal government’s National Gambling Impact Study found that those with the least education spend the most.

Makes sense: No matter what the imagery, only a fool would believe that gambling is a path to wealth.