In a survey conducted during good economic times, pollsters found that a majority of Americans with incomes under $35,000 per year thought that the lottery was a better route to saving $500,000 than saving and modest investing.
The survey was conducted by the Consumer Federation of America and Primerica during the Internet boom in 1999. In fact, the less income people made, the more likely they were to view lottery tickets as a route to retirement.
The point of the survey was to get the word out to consumers that by investing just $25 per week for 40 years, they could accrue more than a quarter of a million dollars. By investing $50 per week, they could conceivably accumulate more than $1 million.
A quick check of a current popular lottery in the U.S. shows that the odds of winning the grand prize are around one in 195 million.