Poll: Maricopans don’t like to gamble with their money

Lottery tickets Mega Millions
InMaricopa reader poll showed that less than one in three Maricopans buys Arizona Lottery tickets. [Arizona Lottery]

Are you judicious with a buck?

Results of our InMaricopa reader poll indicate that Maricopans are.

Our question this week was, “A $320,000 Fantasy 5 winning ticket for Sept. 30 was sold at QuikTrip in Maricopa. How many lottery tickets, including Powerball and Mega Millions, do you buy each week?”

Overwhelmingly, people responded to the answer, “Zero: It’s a total waste of money,” with 69 percent of our 145 voters choosing to hold onto their money. A distant second was the response, “1 to 9: I know I have next to no chance but it’s worth the small risk,” at 28.3 percent.

Just 2.7 percent of respondents fit into the high-roller category by choosing the answer, “10 or more: Somebody has to win sooner or later, it might as well be me.”

While Maricopans may not be opening their wallets to play lottery games, the rest of the state certainly is.

The Arizona Lottery reported a record $1.439 billion in gross sales in 2021 from instant-win and draw games. That represented a 31% increase from the previous fiscal year.

Now in its 40th year of operation, the lottery will contribute more than $260 million toward programs and services across Arizona, including:

  • Nearly $38 million to the Arizona Board of Regents University Bond Fund, which finances construction and maintenance at Arizona’s three public universities.
  • More than $22 million to Healthy Arizona, a division of the Arizona Department of Health Services, to provide vital assistance to low-income Arizona families so they can eat well and remain healthy.
  • Nearly $11 million to the Local Transportation Area Fund to provide for future transportation projects including expansion of mass transit and providing vulnerable Arizonans access to transportation.

Payouts to winners were by far the largest lottery expense as the state paid out more than $977 million in prizes and paid nearly $97 million in retailer commissions last year.