Is winning the Lottery a fantasy? - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

How does playing the Lottery affect your brain?

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

All those tickets when we know we really have no shot.  So why do we do it?

"Just what if," said one Cleveland Lotto player.  "Well I just think about the fantasy of having plenty of money," said another.

So we went to the experts at the Cleveland Clinic to see what playing the lottery really does to our brains. "I think the chemicals in the brain that get released, depending on how good your fantasy is, it's not just buying it, if the fantasy is good you probably release some dopamine you probably do release some feel good endorphins," explained Dr. Michael McKee.

Dr. McKee says playing the lottery is good for the brain. especially when it comes to the social interaction with friends and co-workers.

"It gives a lot of people hope. It gives a lot of people dreams and excitement even if they know it's a fantasy, it's a wonderful chance to indulge a fantasy," explains McKee.  Believe it or not those same fantasies, what they do to your brain, is much like something else you fantasize about. 

"For many people I suppose it's like a good sexual encounter," says Dr. McKee. "Really is exciting and stimulating and then when you imagine winning you can relax and enjoy that."

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