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Gatorguy1992

Lottery Scratchoff Addiction

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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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Hello Gatorguy, welcome to the forum.

I saw your similar post here:

 

http://www.psychforums.com/gambling-addiction/topic185420.html

 

I can only apologize this forum is a little bit smaller but I hope with time to see more active members just like you found this place.

 

In regards to your story - I personally did not have any scratch card addiction but I know I had a gambling addiction - and it doesn't matter if it's scratch cards, sports betting, casino or anything else - you got hooked up with 1 form of gambling and from there found yourself losing a quite substantial amount of money.

 

I did lose the amount you lost ($12,000) in 1 day more than once, so I can tell you wanting to stop is great but you must have many other mechanisms in place in order for you to completely stop:

  • First and utmost, you must have the will and the desire to stop and never touch any form of gambling again - you can develop this feeling by learning how destructive gambling can be, read other sources, eBooks on Amazon, this forum and many other links, learn from other stories why it's so bad for you so you will despise gambling - you must understand gambling is not a habit nor a hobby - in your initial post you called it a "hobby" - you must not look at gambling like a hobby - it's a destructive form of your money and your own personal life - don't touch it and don't get near it.
  • Block any means to buy scratch cards, especially if it's online - self-exclude from any provider who sold you these cards, tell them to block you permanently or threat them with lawsuit or defamation of their site.
    If you have no means to gamble - you won't gamble, period.
  • Take a good treatment - for me what worked so far was energetic treatment along with the other points I mentioned above - but whatever you feel okay with - do it, spend money on treatments, it's much better and would save you a lot of pain down the road.
  • Lastly, use a close relative, someone you trust 100% or your spouse (if you have one) to help you manage your finances at least temporary if you feel like you can't control your finances on your own.

I did mention you posted the same thing in another forum.

You got some good advice there as well but the points I mentioned above are more practical in my opinion.

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