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The loop

Government-run lotteries appeal to poor people. This causes them to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on lotteries, which contributes to them being poor, which keeps them buying tickets.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

There is clearly a demand for playing the lottery. But low-income people spend more of their income on the lottery than other income groups.

In an experiment, low-income participants were more likely to purchase lottery tickets when they felt that their income was low compared to a perceived standard. 

The lottery is cheap permission to dream about the possibility of a better life. Most players know they won't win. 

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