Gen Z's Adopt a Risky new Method to Repay Student Loans, as They Rely on Sports Betting

Gen Z's Adopt a Risky new Method to Repay Student Loans, as They Rely on Sports Betting
jamie_regan | TikTok

Along with expenses for everything from food to accommodation, costs of education are also on the rise, and this has left students scrambling for ways to repay their debts. To tackle the burden of loans, many Gen Z college students are trying their hand at sports betting, even though most aren't finding any real success. With loan payments looming and sports betting becoming more normalized, desperate young adults are becoming more open to the idea of taking a gamble with their money, hoping for a big win. In typical Gen-Z fashion, they're sharing their entire betting experience on social media, often in a humorous way. For instance, Jamie Regan, a 24-year-old freelancer buried under nearly $50,000 of student loan debt, started sharing his betting journey on TikTok in May 2023 as a sort of comedic commentary.

jamie_regan | TikTok
jamie_regan | TikTok

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Regan documented his sports betting journey in 19 videos, including how he chose teams to bet on and how much he spent. He told the Wall Street Journal 'It’s a bigger thing for people, especially our age, who are feeling the effects of a heightened economy and having less money.  'It seems like we’re kind of getting the short end of the stick.'

Initially, spectators were pleased because Regan achieved a few victories in the early films. However, his luck began to run out as the series progressed. In his debut video, Regan began with $5 and calculated that he'd need to win at least 13-14 times to cover his debts.

By the 18th video, Regan admitted that his betting method was not paying off, and it was nowhere near enough to pay off his debt. Despite winning a small $45 in his 19th video, he decided to finish the series there.

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Megan Ortwein, a young TikToker, has focused her whole page on sports betting. She previously made a playful video joking about relying on her gambling winnings to pay her rent. However, Regan and Ortwein are not the only ones researching the field of sports betting.

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According to CivicScience research, approximately one-third of adults in the United States admit to betting on sports games, with Millennials and Gen Z adults accounting for 47 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Research from, which polled 986 college students in 2022, also showed that 26% reported their institutions supporting sports betting, while another 38% had seen sports betting promotions on social media.

Image Source: Photo by | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by | Pexels


This comes only a week after the Biden administration announced the forgiveness of an extra $1.2 billion in student debt for over 150,000 borrowers on February 21. This campaign is consistent with the White House's commitment to assisting Americans in managing their loan payments.  Biden has now forgiven almost $138 billion for nearly 3.9 million borrowers since taking office, despite facing opposition when his initial plan to erase debts was struck down by the Supreme Court seven months ago.

Critics, especially Republicans, claim that this plan imposes a significant expense on taxpayers, unfairly benefits those with college degrees, and goes beyond Biden's power. But supporters of student debt relief argue that if the government can bail out banks and other corporations, it must aid citizens in need.

Following the Supreme Court's rejection of Biden's original $400 billion student loan cancelation plan in June, the Biden administration proposed the SAVE plan as one of several alternatives to addressing student debt.

You can follow @jamie_regan for more updates on student life and his betting journey.


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