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Georgians are 'suckers' for the lottery

Georgians are among the biggest suckers in the nation when it comes to buying lottery tickets, spending an average of $470.73 each on the games of chance, according to a report by BloombergBusinessweek.

Only Massachusetts residents spent more on the games, averaging $860.70 per adult, more than three times the U.S. average, according to the Sucker Index created by Bloomberg Rankings.  But Massachusetts players are luckier than those in Georgia, winning back 72 cents for each dollar spent.

In Georgia, players won only 63 cents for each dollar spent.

The Sucker Index was created using 2010 data from the U.S. Census and annual reports from state lottery commissions, which include multistate games like Powerball. The rankings are determined by subtracting the total dollar amount of prizes awarded from ticket sales. The difference is then divided by the total personal income of each state’s residents.

Using that formula, the top five Sucker Index states are: Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, South Carolina, BloombergBusinessweek reported.

The rankings have gotten attention in Georgia, where the Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote a blog post about the Sucker Index, noting BloombergBusinessweek found that lottery players in the state are “doing the most damage to their personal finances” and that “the pot comes disproportionately from lower-income residents.”

In a guest editorial in the Sunday Augusta Chronicle, Georgia Lottery spokeswoman Tandi Reddick said Bloomberg’s story was “demeaning.”

New York ranked third in the index, followed by Michigan and South Carolina. The lowest scores went to Oklahoma, Washington, South Dakota, Montana and North Dakota.

Some states didn't rank at all because they don't have lotteries. They are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

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