The Margin: As Powerball jackpot hits a record $1.9 billion, this Connecticut man warns that playing the lottery can become an addiction

by | Nov 6, 2022 | Stock Market

The Powerball jackpot has now climbed to $1.9 billion, after no one qualified for the top prize in Saturday’s drawing. That makes it the biggest jackpot in U.S. history, with the next drawing set for Monday, Nov. 7. But for Adam Osmond, any jackpot fervor only serves as a reminder of the dark side of lotteries.

Osmond, a Connecticut resident, gave up buying lottery tickets more than a decade ago after losing around $1 million on various games, be they scratch-offs or drawings. He told MarketWatch that his addiction cost him his business (he owned two gas stations), his home and nearly any semblance of a normal life. “When you talk about hitting bottom, I hit the worst of bottom,” said Osmond, who sought treatment for his addiction. Today, he works as an accountant for Connecticut’s housing department and runs marathons — he recently completed one in Hartford, Conn. — and other races in his free time. Osmond’s story may be an extreme one, but it’s not entirely unique. Experts say that as state lotteries have surged in popularity — combined sales have grown from around $59 billion in 2010 to nearly $90 billion in 2020 — so have the number of Americans who are addicted to playing the games. The problem is only compounded when there’s a big jackpot, experts add. Such events inevitably result in lots of …

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