Watch CBS News

Huge Powerball Jackpot Provides Temptation For Gambling Addicts To Relapse

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Addiction experts are concerned the rising Powerball jackpot could bring those dealing with gambling addictions back into their old habits.

The odds of winning Wednesday's $1.5 billion drawing are 1-in-292 million, but the odds of having a gambling addiction in California are 1-in-25.

"It's exactly like alcohol and drugs, the addiction is the same," said Terri Sue Canale-Dalman with the California Office of Problem Gambling.

She says all of the lottery hype can hurt people hooked on gambling .

"It can create triggers, something that makes a gambler want to gamble more during that time because they're seeing a form of gambling all the time," she said.

The office runs a 24-hour addiction hotline in 21 different languages and does outreach through billboards and pamphlets. A range of free counseling is offered, from self-help to inpatient treatment.

"We've seen a lot more people looking for help just because they're aware that we have a treatment program," she said.

The California Lottery contributes $130,000 a year to help fight gambling addiction, a fraction of the $5.5 billion worth of tickets they sell each year. Unlike schools, the problem gambling office doesn't see any extra money when more tickets are sold.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.