I’d say it depends on the current state of your roster. In the case of someone who spends a bit, chances are you will obtain new servants much faster than you will be able to raise them. And that can go on for a while.
That is a case where you would want to use more apples on a lottery than the highest amount of golden ones you could possibly save in your early times. However, to even be able to use above 100+ apples on the best node, time is going to be a huge factor. During Gilfest, I farmed the final node with a all in all reliable composition that averaged 5-7 turns but it did require turn-by-turn play at the beginning. Making a single run around 10 minutes or more. It took me an entire four-days week-end doing nothing else to farm 200 boxes like that. I think I rappled for the last 20 boxes, to reach 200 really…
Xmas on the other hand, I had access to DSS looping and FGA and I did throw some SQs to go as high as 400 boxes wih many of the farming going on while I was working or sleeping. I normally absolutely refuse to rapple for anything, ever. But in this specific case, I had prepared a list of servants for whom I had the ascension mats available, favouring the highest head-count.
It is worth noting that it does not really represent a massive chunk of the overall SQs I’ve spent. But I can’t really overlook the fact that I raised something like 80 servants from low to max level during that event. I’d say it was probably a one-time thing too; I don’t have 80 more servants to raise during next Gilfest. And that’s even less likely to happen during the following Xmas lottery.
It’s also a great source for MPs and FPs, allowing for an easy earlier purchase of the special CEs, and a few millions FPs will bring you another fat chunk of various classes EXP, as well as a considerable amount of fous.
My advice would be to consider it IF you have the capacity to farm the lottery easily and IF you are pulling your hair wondering how you’re going to level all of those characters you like in less than fifteen years. And that would make the ideal candidates something like 1-year old dolphins.
Start by spending all your golden apples and see if you want more of what you got for them. Also check your mats requirements, if you don’t have those, it’s no use farming hundreds of boxes as you won’t be able to use the resources to their full extent.
(Also, high recommendation on having at least 140AP a bar)