How lucky do you feel when buying a lottery ticket? Turns out one in five British Columbian lottery players expect to win big.

That’s according to a new Research Co. poll, which found 21 per cent of B.C. adults who bought at least one lottery ticket over the last year foresee winning a “big prize," while more than 40 per cent believe they won’t win anything at all.

The younger generation is somewhat more realistic, with 60 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds expecting to at least win something small.

“There’s a sense of optimism. Most of them are saying, ‘I want a small prize. I just want to get a loonie or something,’” said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. “Whereas Generation X, it’s a little trickier. You have one in four of them saying ‘I want to win a big prize.’ Obviously that would be fantastic, but it’s not something that’s going to happen all the time”.

So what are the odds of winning? Very low, according to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation. The website says, “The odds of winning the jackpot, which requires you to match all six numbers, are 1 in 13,983,816.”

When looking at the impact of gambling, many British Columbians believe the negative effects need to be addressed. The Research Co. poll found two thirds think the government should do more.

The results are based on an online study conducted from Sept. 11 to Sept. 14, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in the province. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.