TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's a common problem not only across the country, but here in Tucson.
Gambling addiction plagues close to 3% of the United States' population.
Though the odds of winning are slim, thousands of people flock to convenience stores to try their hand at the lottery.
Some only when the jackpot is huge, like the most recent Powerball and Mega Millions numbers. Others buy often.When lottery fever strikes and huge jackpots hit, especially over the same weekend, it can be a trigger for those struggling with or recovering from gambling addiction.
Local gambling addiction counselor at Inspired Healing, Jim Soward, told Tucson News Now, "Now when it gets up so high, it's human nature I see it in my face again - it's on the news, on billboards, more often or at the convenience store convenience when I stop in for gas."
Soward has specialized in the issue for a while now, and has several clients fighting the disease.
He told TNN he's seen it consume a person all too often. When times get tough, people can get desperate. Spending their rent money or their grocery dollars in hopes of cashing in a winning ticket.
"It's more about that escape from life, that fantasy. For however long it lasts, I'm going to win lots of money," he said.
For anyone suffering from a gambling addiction, Soward said there is hope. Give a call to 1-800-Next-Step.