Did lottery fever wear off after the $2 billion Powerball jackpot?
December 13th, 2022, Kineree Shah

Did lottery fever wear off after the $2 billion Powerball jackpot?

In early November, America’s weeks-long Powerball fever broke when a single ticket in California won the eye-popping $2.04 billion jackpot – the largest prize in history. The news of the mega jackpot was so widespread that ‘Powerball numbers’ was one of the most searched terms on Google – even though the odds of winning the jackpot were bigger than being struck by lightning. To understand America’s attitude towards Powerball, YouGov surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,174 Americans through our YouGov RealTime tool.

Almost a quarter of consumers say they regularly play Powerball (23%), Scratch offs/ Instants (23%), and Mega Millions (22%). But more than half say they don’t play lottery games often (55%). 27% of men say they play Powerball at least a few times a year in comparison to 19% of females. For women, scratch offs are seemingly more popular, with 25% playing them versus only 21% of men.

So, given this baseline, how much does a growing jackpot affect playing habits? Well, more than half of Americans surveyed who bought a ticket for the big draw say they purchased specifically for the big prize money (56%). In fact, many convenience stores and markets were flooded with people rushing to buy the last lottery tickets. A quarter of those that bought a ticket for the final draw say that they regularly purchase Powerball tickets regardless of the prize money, while a fifth say it was an impulsive purchase. 16% said they had a lucky feeling.

When we asked those consumers who didn’t buy a ticket why, two in five responded that they didn’t think they would win. But a further quarter simply didn’t get around to getting their ticket (27%), while 22% answered that they wanted to use the money for something else.

Has interest in Powerball increased because of the large prize? Half of respondents say their interest has remained the same but 17% say they are now more interested, with men more likely to share this sentiment than women (21% men vs. 14% women).

There was a 10-hour delay in declaring the lottery prize due to a technical issue, but the problem may have changed public’s conviction, with 26% of Powerball ticket buyers saying they were not confident about the draw. The winning numbers of Powerball were announced on November 7, with the one winner pocketing the whole jackpot. Among those who purchased a Powerball ticket, more than a quarter of respondents we surveyed were not too happy with it, saying the prize was too large and should have been capped at a lower level or split between more people (28%).

15% of respondents say they were unaware that the jackpot had grown so large. A third of respondents say they had fantasized about what they would do with the prize money at least once before the day (32%). But the key takeaway for lottery marketers? Nearly one in 10 respondents say they will now buy more Powerball tickets (9%).

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YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 1 Dec 2022 with a nationally representative sample of 1,174 adults in US (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity and to be representative of all adults in the US market. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus.

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