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Gatorguy1992

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  1. Hello everyone, I'm a 24 year old single male who has been gambling for about 9 months now. I will go further into more personal info about me below... I started playing scratchoff tickets last year around Christmas when my uncle gave me 20 of them, which introduced me to them. I didn't even realize they existed until he gave me them, that's how indifferent I was to the existence of them. Like most gamblers, I had a "lucky spree" that reeled me into this dangerous hobby. I bought a $5 scratchoff ticket, and won $30. Eventually, I started buying them regularly, and bought a $20 scratchoff ticket and won $500 on the first ticket. I then won $500 SIX more times on $200 tickets, profiting about $2,500 after factoring in how much I had invested. This all happened with in the span of a week. What happened next? I won $1,000 on a $25 ticket after only buying two for $50, $950 profit. This is where things started going downhill. I spent $600 one day, lost $400 on scratch tickets. After noticing I had an addiction, I sought out Gambler's Anonymous. I attended a meeting, but didn't feel interested in continuing to go because 1- I was still "ahead" of my investments, and 2- The people there were much older than I am, so I didn't feel a connection. My addiction continued to snowball, and it got to the point where I would buy entire books of tickets, contacted the lottery to get data on ticket numbers remaining, and would drive around my state purchasing lottery tickets which I calculated as having "better chances at hitting a jackpot" on based on the "prizes remaining" relative to the tickets remaining. Fast forward to today, scratching lotto tickets consumes my thoughts daily. I have accumulated $12k in debt on credit cards, and even resorted to cash advances. I also have $15k in debt from student loans in total. I guess I am thankful I was able to get my bachelor degree from a state school, and master degree from Johns Hopkins University with only $15k debt. I have about $27k in debt in total, and I have come to the realization that enough is enough. I am a teacher, and earn $33k/yr, and I realized that this type of hobby isn't sustainable or healthy. I feel horrible after spending so much money. I have devised a plan to become credit card debt free in 7 months of aggressively making payments. After I become credit card debt free, I plan on paying off my student loans in the following 12 months. I have read tips of "paying yourself $1 a day for not gambling", and have implemented the tip of buying bills as soon as I received my paycheck, but I even resorted to cash advances to gamble after following that second strategy. I am ready for a change, and I am here seeking advice, support, and thoughts on my situation. Has anyone else had a scratchoff addiction? How have you overcome your addiction?
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