Feb. 3, 2005
CONTACT: Jeff Stoughton,

Hispanics are more likely than other ethnic groups to play the Texas Lottery, according to a survey conducted by Texas Tech University’s Earl Survey Research Laboratory.

Previous studies reported that whites and those making $50,000 a year or more made up the largest proportion of lottery players. This was true in absolute numbers, but that is because they made up a larger proportion of the sample. The Texas Tech study examined the proportion of people within each category that report playing the lottery rather than the proportion of all lottery players that come from each category.

Brian Cannon, operations director for the research laboratory, said the Texas Tech study differed from previous studies in that more income categories were provided on the survey and questions were added to deal with lottery games added since the last study.

The income categories were adjusted because previous studies set $50,000 and above as the upper limit – a figure that Tech researchers thought was too broad and low. Additional categories were added and the upper income limit was set to $100,000 and above.

The findings differ from previous years not because the raw figures are significantly different, but because the study compared proportions of lottery players within ethnic categories instead of simply considering how many players came from each group.

Other findings of the survey:
• The number of Texans playing the lottery has decreased to 47% in 2004, from 56% in 2002.
• The most popular game is Lotto Texas, followed by scratch-off games.

The Texas Lottery Commission is required by law to conduct a demographic study of lottery participants every two years. They contracted with Texas Tech to perform the most recent study.

The report is available online at