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2011-08-14 15:29:40
2011-08-14 15:29:40

It is a variable answer. First of all you need to know the exact number of how many people have won the lottery in the history of mankind, or if you want to know an anual average. Then you find out how many of those winners have since filed for bankruptcy. The hard part is to find out the average of people going bankrupt after winning the lottery. But once you have the numbers, you can figure out the average of said original question.

Another answer:

There are lots of stories, but very little statistical data on this subject. Economists at the University of Kentucky, University of Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt University studied Florida's Fantasy 5 lottery from 1993 to 2002, and cross-referenced winners of jackpots up to $150,000 with state bankruptcy records. They found that 1,900 of 35,000 winners were bankrupt within five years. That's about 5% of the winners.

They also found that about 1% of the people who play the lottery (both winners and losers) were bankrupt within five years. That's about double the rate of bankruptcy for the population as a whole.

It's difficult to draw conclusions from that single study, but it seems to indicate:

  • Most lottery winners do not go broke. Some do, in spectacular fashion, but they are a minority.
  • People who play the lottery are more likely to go broke than people who do not, regardless of whether they win or lose.
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