The Mega Millions jackpot is at a record-high $868 million - here's which states spend the most buying lottery tickets


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The Mega Millions jackpot is at a record-high $868 million, and Americans love to play the lottery.

But people living in some states spend way more than those in others.

Business Insider looked at statistics from the US Census Bureau to figure out the average amount each resident in a state spent on lottery tickets in 2016 using the Bureau's population estimates and state lottery revenue figures from the annual Survey of State Government Finances. (We were inspired by an analysis done first by LendEDU, but we did our own calculations.)

Americans living in the eastern half of the US tend to spend more than those living in the western half. Those living in the northeast specifically tend to spend more than those living in other parts of the country on a per capita basis.

Residents living in Massachusetts spend the most on lottery tickets by far at $767. West Virginia came in second place at $594, and Rhode Island was in third at $513.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, North Dakota residents spent the least at $45, followed by Wyoming at $46 and Oklahoma at $48.

Six states did not have any lottery revenues reported in the Census data: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah. They are gray on the map.

Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from US Census Bureau

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SEE ALSO: We did the math to see if you should buy a Mega Millions ticket


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