Posted by Steps to Recovery on March 30, 2013

Powerball is a pretty popular lottery game across the United States, and why not? It’s easy to play, cheap to play, and if you win, the prize could be in the multi-millions. At $2 a ticket and with the potential to win so much money, why not play Powerball? Well, it is gambling, and can lead to gambling addiction.

Powerball, just like any form of gambling, can lead to ludomania, or as it’s more commonly called, problem gambling. Problem gambling is defined as an urge to continuously gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. With Powerball, it’s easy to get wrapped up in buying tickets and picking numbers, the anticipation of the drawing and the possibility of winning all that money can overcome someone who really just believes they are having fun.

Playing Powerball can also lead to other types of gambling, with more opportunity for immediate gratification. Waiting for the rush that happens when the Powerball numbers are picked may not be enough for some people, so they may start with other types of gambling as well to fulfill the need for that “high.” Scratch off lottery tickets and trips to the casino offer instant gratification for the gambling addict.

How can you tell if you or a loved one may have a gambling addiction? Here is a list of things to look for, to be diagnosed with problem gambling, a person must have 5 or more of the following symptoms.

  1. Preoccupation. The person has frequent thoughts about gambling experiences, whether past, future, or fantasy.
  2. Tolerance. As with drug tolerance, the individual requires larger or more frequent wagers to experience the same “rush”.
  3. Withdrawal. Restlessness or irritability associated with attempts to cease or reduce gambling.
  4. Escape. The person gambles to improve mood or escape problems.
  5. Chasing. The gambler tries to win back gambling losses with more gambling.
  6. Lying. The individual tries to hide the extent of his or her gambling by lying to family, friends, or therapists.
  7. Loss of control. The person has unsuccessfully attempted to reduce gambling.
  8. Illegal acts. The person has broken the law in order to obtain gambling money or recover gambling losses. This may include acts of theft, embezzlement,fraud, or forgery.
  9. Risked significant relationship. The individual gambles despite risking or losing a relationship, job, or other significant opportunity.
  10. Bailout. The person turns to family, friends, or another third party for financial assistance as a result of gambling.

Gambling addiction is a very real and serious condition. If you suspect you or a loved one may be addicted to gambling, there is help available. If you enjoy the game of Powerball or gambling in general, just be sure to watch for the the previously listed behaviors in relation to your gambling activity.