The mega millions jackpot has now reached over $1 billion.

While hitting it big seems like a dream come true for many. For too many, a myriad of psychological problems come into focus too.

While the chances of actually winning the lottery are very slim, people that suffer from compulsion and addiction from gambling is very common.

Many psychological problems come with the thought of hitting it big, and hitting it big doesn’t always mean happiness.

“In studies that have been done, people that have won lottery were not happier than those that did not. There was no difference, but what they did find is that those individuals that did play the lottery or things of that nature took less pleasure in day to day things,” said Dr. Melanie Dunbar, director of Behavioral Health LECOM.

Dr. Dunbar adds “flexible attributions” affect our decision making.

“If we lose, it’s because of some external influence. If we win, it’s because of our skill or something we did,” Dr. Dunbar said. 

Gamblers also display something called “hind sight bias”.

“Not being surprised by the outcome kind of writing that off, because if they don’t then how do you justify  gambling again,” Dr. Dunbar said.

The doctor added that studies show people of lower social-economic status tend to play more frequently.

“Which then can cause even more issues right, so those individuals with less resources are using parts of the resources that they do have on something like that,” Dr. Dunbar said.

She added there is also a link between spending on the lottery and poor social functioning, less support systems and higher alcohol and cigarette consumption.

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