Yes, playing the lottery is a waste of money, no matter how large the jackpot you are playing for is. Statistically you are far more likely to be struck by lightning or be run over by a bus than buy the winning lottery ticket. Better to not buy a ticket and use the money to treat yourself.
If you ignore the almost astronomically horrible odds of winning, playing Powerball is still a lousy use of your money. Almost half of money from sales goes to the government and that is before the taxes paid by the small number of winners. There are many investments other than the lottery that provide realistic returns.
No, it's not a huge waste of money to spend a couple of dollars on a chance to win millions, as long as you know that your chances of winning are practically zero. It's kind of fun to dream about winning the lottery. Somebody somewhere does win. You can't win if you don't buy a ticket. So if you let yourself buy a ticket now and then, it's not a big deal.
No, I do not think playing the lottery is necessarily a waste of money. If a person plays the lottery with a sole purpose and expectation of winning the jackpot, then yes, it is definitely a waste of money. However, if a person plays for the enjoyment and excitement of possibly winning, then it is an excellent investment. It's all in the purpose and expectations.