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Addiction Counselors Say Bigger Jackpots Mean More Gambling Dangers

Gambling and addiction counselors with Munson Healthcare have some insight into why people buy Mega Millions tickets in droves even though the odds of winning are so low.

Friday night’s jackpot stands at $1.35 billion, but the odds of winning are one in 302 million.

Counselors say when lots of people are talking about the excitement of gambling, it creates dopamine in the brain. The anticipation of winning big fuels some people to buy more tickets without thinking of the realistic consequences.

“It can be very harmless if it’s, hey, you buy a ticket for a dollar and it gets you excited for a 24 hour period of time without anticipation that you’re going to win”, said Chad Bousamra, a licensed professional counselor.

Bousamra says the problem is when people buy excessive amounts of tickets thinking it’ll improve their odds.

Have fun playing the Mega Millions safely, but if you or someone you know needs help please call the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-270-7117.