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Are you a Player: New UH study examines gamers and the Texas Lottery Center for Public policy examines demographics of those who play

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It has been said that you are more likely to get struck by lightening than to score a winning lottery ticket, but lottery players still take the chance. Just who they are and how much they play are the questions the University of Houston Center for Public Policy will answer in a new demographic study.

“The basic goal of this study is to provide a snapshot of who is most likely to engage in the Texas Lottery games,” said Jim Granato, director of the CPP. “The CPP will not only use the standard statistical methods utilized by prior studies, but we also intend to use data visualization tools that will present the results in an interactive graphic format.”

The telephone survey will be managed by Richard Murray, director of the CPP’s Survey Research Institute. Though there have been other demographic studies on the lottery, this will differ in that the sample population will include a greater number of consumers whose primary means of contact is a cell phone. Traditionally, surveys include sample populations of people who rely mostly or solely on land lines in their homes. In this way, the CPP survey will be more inclusive and reflective of the general population.

“As more phone users switch from land lines to cell phones, telephone surveys that sample only traditional residential numbers are excluding the fast-growing segment of the population that uses mobile phones exclusively,” Murray said. “If our surveys are to be accurate, we have to adjust to this new reality.”

The Texas Lottery is required by law to review the demographics of its consumers every year. The last study found that Hispanics made up the largest group of lottery consumers and that participation in games was down.

The findings of the UH study will be released by the end of the year and will be available online.

For more information on the UH Center for Public Policy, visit

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