In ancient times, lotteries were used by governments to fund important projects, such as the Great Wall of China, and to help the poor. George Washington also organized a number of lotteries, which proved to be very popular with the people. A ticket from his Mountain Road Lottery from 1768 is still considered a collector’s item and is usually sold for $15,000 or more. Nowadays, governments recognize the value of lotteries and most governments have monopolies over lottery games.
Today, lottery games are available in 44 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Only Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah do not have state-wide lotteries. In addition, the lottery games Powerball and Mega Millions are available virtually everywhere, making them the de facto national lotteries.
The online lottery has made playing the lottery easier than ever, and it offers the added benefit of increased jackpots. Online lotteries also allow players outside of the United States to play. In addition, lottery sites allow players to participate in non-US lotteries and buy tickets for US lotteries. These sites make it easy to participate in several different lottery games and compare odds and jackpots. Purchasing lottery tickets online is safe and secure, and you can even choose your lucky numbers instantly.
The official online lottery site has the same rules as the land-based distribution points. The prices and prizes are the same for both kinds of players, and players participate in the same game regardless of the method they use to purchase their tickets. The only difference is the process. Each official lottery distributor is free to conduct the process differently.
Despite this legal precedent, states have been reluctant to sell online lottery tickets, citing legal issues. For example, the Wire Act, which prohibited interstate transmission of wire communications, did not apply to lottery transactions. As a result, Illinois and New York sought a court’s opinion about whether or not they could sell lottery tickets online. Despite this setback, the federal government’s 2011 opinion cleared the way for states to sell lottery tickets online. Today, seven US states offer legal online lotteries.
Michigan Lottery has led the way with its online lottery sales. The Michigan Lottery allows players to purchase tickets and electronic scratch-off games online. These online sales have not negatively affected physical lottery sales. In fact, weekly online sales have reached $8 million in less than 18 months. Moreover, the retail lottery continues to set sales records.
Besides the multi-state draw games, the state lottery also features several state-based games. Most of the money made from these games goes to local businesses and schools. In Wyoming, WyoLotto was introduced in 2013, offering three multi-state games. In addition, a portion of the proceeds goes to the state’s education fund.