Steadily saving for retirement, a new car or a college education can take years and a lot of discipline before you enjoy the payoff.
That’s one reason why it’s so tempting to dream about striking it rich by buying a lottery ticket at the nearest 7-11.
Here are 11 facts that Mint.com uncovered:
1. In 2012 Americans spent $78 billion pursuing lottery jackpots.
2. The odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 175 million.
3. The chances of winning the California Super Lotto Jackpot are 1 in 18 million.
4. Last year roughly half of Americans purchased at least one lottery ticket.
5. About 20% of the population buys the vast majority of lottery tickets.
6. Households earning less than $12,400 a year spend 5% of their income on lotteries.
7. The nation’s largest jackpot of $656 million was split three ways among ticket owners in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.
8. You are more likely to…
…than win a big jackpot.
9. Lottery players lose an average of 47 cents on the dollar for each ticket.
10. It’s not a happily-ever-after ending for most lottery winners. Seventy percent of Americans lose their money within a few years of experiencing a sudden windfall.
11. The real winners of the lotteries are the states. They typically earn a 40% profit from their average payouts.