Campbelltown on top for lottery wins

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EITHER the people of Campbelltown are very lucky or they buy a lot of lottery tickets. Data from NSW Lotteries spanning the past four years reveals that Campbelltown is the number one suburb in the state for lottery winners.

If you are on a low income you're likely to think that the only way out of your circumstances is to buy a lottery ticket.

Analysis of the 552 winning ticket sale locations reveals other suburbs or towns in the top five are Penrith, Cabramatta, Queanbeyan and Sydney.

The director of the Council of Social Service NSW, Alison Peters, said gambling activity tends to be higher in lower socio-economic areas.

"We know from poker-machine revenue data that there is a higher level of revenue from pubs and clubs in Sydney's south-west and central Sydney, which may be related to where people work," she said. "So the areas are very similar to lottery tickets."

She said people under financial stress were more likely to believe that winning the lottery may be the answer to their worries.

"If you are on a low income you're likely to think that the only way out of your circumstances is to buy a lottery ticket," she said. "It shows optimism, even if the chances of winning are very, very low."

Dr Rohan Miller, a gambling expert from the University of Sydney, said as the data only showed where the tickets were sold rather than where the buyers lived, it was hard to definitively say that sales are higher in lower socio-economic areas.

However, he said there was plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that this was the case.

"These people are getting sold a dream," he said. "They may have mortgage stress, they may be under financial pressure. Maybe they feel that buying a lottery ticket is the only option they have for alleviating that financial pressure.

"A merchant banker from Macquarie Bank is is less likely to be seduced by that dream than a truck driver from Bankstown."

Higher socio-economic areas such as Rose Bay and North Sydney have produced comparatively few winners over the past four years according to the data, which includes Oz Lotto, Lotto, Lotto Strike, Powerball, The Pools and $2 Lucky Lotteries.

About 7.5 million people - or one in two Australian adults - are expected to buy a ticket in today's $100 million Oz Lotto jackpot.

And people who live in Casino are not especially lucky, having produced only two lotto winners in the past four years.

This article Campbelltown on top for lottery wins was originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald.