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Powerball players in 44 states – as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands – are anxiously awaiting Saturday’s lottery drawing, when a record $800 million jackpot is up for grabs.
A few things change when the pot’s that big, says economist Victor Matheson. More people play, of course, and maybe they should – statistically speaking it’s a better bet when the pay-off is sky high. For state budgets hoping to get lucky with ticket sales, however, it’s still a gamble.