Lotteries are typically money drains at best. If you find yourself giving in to the habit (or if you don't!) you can improve your finances by paying that money to a personal "lottery" savings fund instead.
As personal finance blog Novel Investor points out, even small amounts of money saved up over time will amount to huge savings over time. Spending $10 a day on ten tickets (as a hopefully extreme example) would result in 146,000 chances to win. However, that same $10/day would be worth near a million dollars over that same 40 years:
Photo by Lisa Brewster
But saving is not nearly as exciting or fun. And it takes time. More time than short-term thinking allows. The chart [at the source link] below shows what happens when you choose the $10 a day long-term lottery over the short-term belief in instant millions. A lot can happen when you sock away $10 a day, $3,650 per year, for 40 years. Saving more will beef up your winnings even faster.
Of course, part of the reason people play lotteries is because it's fun. So, try rewiring that impulse. Every time you see an ad for the lottery and get tempted, deposit the cost of the tickets into your savings account. The value of saving small amounts of money over time is good for anyone.