A study of who plays lottery games in North Carolina shows that demographically they look similar to the overall population of the state.

The N.C. Education Lottery partnered with Ipsos, a research and polling firm, to conduct a demographic profile of lottery players. The statewide telephone survey interviewed 2,001 North Carolinians, aged 18 or older, between May 23 and June 19. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percent.

The survey defined a lottery player as someone who had played any lottery game in the last year. Of those surveyed, nearly half, 46 percent, were lottery players.

“We meet North Carolinians every day as they buy tickets and win prizes so we have a good idea of who our players are,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the lottery. “It’s good to see this survey confirms what our experience told us. Folks from all walks of life enjoy playing lottery games.”

Key takeaways were:

• Lottery players matched the general population in terms of household income with 37 percent of players having a household income of $25,000 to $75,000 a year; 24 percent, under $25,000; 22 percent, $75,000 to $150,000; and 7 percent, $150,000 or more.
• More lottery players are middle-aged with 42 percent in the 35-54 age group, 33 percent in the 55 plus age group, and 24 percent in the 18 to 34 age group.
• More lottery players held university degrees or attended some college, including 25 percent university graduates, 34 percent with some college, and 41 percent with a high school degree or less.

“A good deal of assumptions are made as to who play lottery games,” said Michalko. “A valid and reliable scientific survey, such as this one, answers important questions that will help guide the responsible growth of the lottery.”

Comparisons of lottery players with the state’s overall population also showed:

• A higher percentage of lottery players are middle-aged, 42 percent are in the 35-54 age group vs. 35 percent in general population.
• A slightly higher percentage of lottery players are male, 52 percent vs. 49 percent in the general population.
• A slightly higher percentage of lottery players are African-Americans, 23 percent vs. 20 percent in general population.

The survey is part of the lottery’s corporate social responsibility program and was a commitment the lottery made as it achieved the highest level of responsible gaming certification recognized internationally last December. The Level 4 accreditation from the World Lottery Association attested that the lottery has implemented responsible gaming practices into its day-to-day operations and continuous improvement of them.