It may be stay-at-home boredom, the closure of gaming venues, or extreme optimism about becoming an iso-millionaire – but the growth in Queenslander turning to online jackpots has surprised even the country’s top provider.
In the past month, The Lottery Office has recorded a 108% spike in Australians buying tickets in its draws, last week being the peak week for Queensland which saw a 105.88% in revenue last week over pre-COVID revenue.
Surprisingly, the trend is occurring despite US lottery companies reporting decreased participation from American players due to very limited online availability for lotteries in the US, according to The Lottery Office CEO Jaclyn Wood.
Ms Wood said the growth trend in Queensland started in early March and was largely attributable to increased participation since lockdowns amongst 25 to 39-year-olds (197.75% increase).
“Working from home and social isolation are definitely factors in the figures we are seeing, with people in younger demographics clearly trying to remain hopeful and stay entertained during an incredibly stressful time,” Ms Wood said.
“The irony now is that the options for what people could do with their winnings are significantly limited. Travel is currently off the table and luxury items have less appeal than ever before.
“We suspect that more than ever before, people are looking for economic security rather than a millionaire’s lifestyle.”
Despite being one of the few industries seeing more customers during the pandemic, Ms Wood stressed the critical importance of responsible spending.
“We know that many people have been directly impacted by the closure of businesses across the country, which is why we have individual and weekly spend limits to protect players,” she said.
“It’s never been more important for customers to set their own spending limit from within their account. Once set, these limits cannot be increased by the customer within 24 hours. We also have a range of other measures in place to ensure that we encourage responsible participation only.”
Ms Wood said the dream of winning the jackpot is a great distraction for Australians stuck in social isolation.
“It is great to see people are finding new ways to have fun and stay hopeful during this unpredictable time,” she said.
The Lottery Office currently has a number of huge jackpots, the USA Mega Lotto valued at $420M, and the tax-free European lotteries including European Millions at $45M and European Jackpot at $35M.