UH survey finds steady participation in Texas lottery

More often it's a man, spending about $15 a month, most likely in Victoria.

Participation in the Texas Lottery games remains steady from last year, according to the latest demographic survey conducted by the University of Houston Center for Public Policy (CPP). Participation rates had been on the downswing since 2005.

"The 2008 survey found an overall participation rate of 38.82 percent compared to 38.47 percent the previous year," CPP Director Jim Granato said. "You can't get more stable than that. It will be interesting to see if this stabilization occurs again next year or if the very minimal gain found in 2008 begins a trend of increased participation and, if so, what could be causing the change?"

The annual survey, conducted on behalf of the Texas Lottery Commission, is required by law. It predicts nearly $3.15 billion in lottery sales for 2008, down slightly from last year.

The CPP surveyed 1,701 Texans (1,531 on landlines; 174 via cell phones) between August and September of 2008.

Among the findings:

Participation rates are highest in Victoria, where 49 percent of respondents played a Texas Lottery game, followed by San Antonio, El Paso and Lubbock.

Men playing any lottery game spent about $15 a month on the games.

Fifty-two percent of those playing any lottery game earn between $75,000 and $100,000 a year.

"There was no evidence in 2008 that income is systematically related to tendencies to play the lottery," Granato said. "The lack of differences among income levels is notable since the 2006 and 2007 surveys found significant income effects."

Regarding the individual games:

The most popular Texas Lottery game is Lotto Texas. Nearly 69 percent of respondents indicated they play the game, though that figure is down from nearly 85 percent in 2007.

Fifty-four percent of respondents play Texas Lottery Scratch Off tickets, up 5 percent from last year.

Participation in the game Megaplier continues to decline, with fewer than 12 percent of respondents playing the game, down from nearly 13 percent in 2007.

Source: University of Houston