What Does It Cost to Play the Lottery?

I have the good fortune to know M., an accomplished economist who also likes to play the lottery. From him, I have learned perspectives on the lottery enterprise that I have heard from no one else. One of the first things I learned is that to an economist, the cheapest games the lottery sells are the ones that cost the most to play. M also introduced me to the idea of “likely cost”, that is, for a certain intensity of play, how much money he expects to lose. These are key concepts for understanding the winning experience of players, and what it takes to keep them engaged while making money for the lottery. My first account of M and his teachings was published inĀ NASPL Insights June 2013