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News 12 Apr 2023

Are Lottery Players Happier People? Yes!


The most engaged players are motivated by a lottery’s values and are happier people. But they need innovative games to keep them engaged.

Experts say that happy people share common traits, such as gratitude, humor, self-confidence and optimism, according to a 2015 article in Inc. magazine. But we might be able to add another identifier to that list—playing lottery games.

On a 10-point scale measuring happiness, 41% of European lottery players rate themselves between 8-10. Compared to 33% of adults in Europe who rank themselves at that same high level, lottery players seem to be significantly happier than all adults.

The mirth doesn’t stop there. The happiest of all players are who Scientific Games calls “Enthusiasts,” accounting for 62% of all annual lottery sales in Europe, according to the company’s ONE Segmentation Study. An extraordinary 54% of this group identifies in the 8-10 range on the happiness scale. The company has been studying industry data for 50 years, and today its analytics help drive the success of more than 130 lotteries in 50 countries around the world.

If lottery purchases make up only 3% of lottery players’ entire entertainment budget, how does relatively little spending bring so much happiness? Correlation does not imply causation—happy people just seem to enjoy playing lottery.


“Lottery Enthusiasts have values aligned with lottery. When their values are aligned, lottery becomes a magnet to happy people,” observed Liga Magdalenoka-Keen, Director of International Insights at Scientific Games, at the EL/WLA annual Marketing Seminar in London in February 2023. “They see lottery as an ideal way to give back for the benefit of society.”

Magdalenoka-Keen, who has studied the science inside lottery play for the company and its European customers for seven years, shared that Enthusiasts are twice as likely than other players to agree that lottery is an appropriate way to raise money for good causes and that playing gives back to the community. Enthusiasts also share a preference for new, innovative lottery products, big prizes and premium designs.

“Enthusiasts want it to be fun and exciting too. They want to be appreciated and rewarded for their loyalty,” shared Magdalenoka-Keen.

She calls Scientific Games’ new iDecide game enhancement “the Enthusiast’s dream.” iDecide gives instant scratch card players the option to continue their play experience with a digital game and potentially expand their winnings. A first for the global lottery industry, iDecide was launched in October 2022 in partnership with Groupe FDJ, the operator of France’s national lottery La Franϛaise des Jeux.

iDecide is one of many recent innovations from Scientific Games, which has been a driving force behind the evolution of the lottery industry for five decades. This year, the company brought the industry-first Dimension technology that produces holographic-like 3D patterns on instant scratch games to North America after initially developing the capability at its UK facility to serve European lotteries. In October, Scientific Games unveiled LOTERIA Augmented Reality at the 2022 World Lottery Summit, bringing LOTERIA to life in a digital extension of a physical instant scratch game. The company’s innovation in on-demand, terminal-generated PlayNow Games are driving incremental revenue for customers, and its digital games with progressive jackpots give lotteries an entirely new way to excite players.

Magdalenoka-Keen also advises lotteries to focus on creating awareness about the core purpose of lottery, i.e., generosity, acts of service, hope, and equal chances for everyone.

“This will organically attract people who are enthusiastic about lottery,” she said. “They feel they belong to a community that mirrors their values and contributes to good in the world.”

With an estimated $115 billion generated for lottery beneficiaries globally in the past year, it’s safe to say that lotteries are not only contributing to the good in the world—they are giving players the exciting and innovative games they want.

For a full report on Lottery Player Segmentation ONE and to find out more about the link between lottery play and happiness, European lotteries may email Liga.Keen@scientificgames.com.

SOURCES: Scientific Games ONE™ Segmentation Study in Europe, 2022; Blue Yonder Happiness Study in Europe, 2022.

ONE™ Segmentation Study is a trademark of Scientific Games, LLC. © 2023 Scientific Games, LLC. All Rights Reserved.