How Many People Play the Lottery?

We are fairly sure that about half the eligible population of the US had a ticket for the record Powerball jackpot of January 2016. But how many people play the lottery on a routine basis, week after week, building up those jackpots that bring in the masses? The answers we get depend on how we ask the question. InĀ NASPL Insights October 2016 I explain some reservations about using survey data to understand where sales are coming from, and illustrate a method I have used to combine survey information with ticket counts to develop a more reliable estimate.