MONEY
08/24/2012 08:20 am ET Updated Oct 24, 2012

Lottery Tickets Sales Hitting Record Numbers

The winning lottery ticket is held up during a news conference at the Red Bud Village Hall Wednesday, April 18, 2012 in Red B
The winning lottery ticket is held up during a news conference at the Red Bud Village Hall Wednesday, April 18, 2012 in Red Bud, Ill. Merle and Patricia Butler of Red Bud, Ill., are the retired southern Illinois couple that claimed the third and final share of last month's record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

While it's possible to make the argument that there are worse ways to waste your money than playing the lottery, there's no denying that money spent on lottery tickets is almost always wasted. So why, at a time when the financial woes of the middle class are readily apparent, is it that at least two dozen states are selling lottery tickets in record numbers?

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