How to Play the Lottery Online


Lotteries began in the US during the early 1700s. Newspaper advertisements from the colonial era indicate there were hundreds of lotteries. In 1934, Puerto Rico launched the first state-wide lottery, and New Hampshire became the next state to begin offering the games. Today, there are more than 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico operating lottery games, and Virgin Islands is set to offer lotto games in 2021. There are both drawing games and instant-win games.

The first documented lotteries offered money prizes. The lottery was first held in the Low Countries during the fifteenth century. It was originally used to raise funds for town fortifications and for the poor. However, the lottery is thought to be much older than this. The records of L’Ecluse’s 9 May 1445 mention that a lottery was held for a prize of 4,304 florins, which is approximately US$170,000 in 2014.

While you can still buy tickets for lottery games at brick-and-mortar lottery offices, you’ll want to buy them online. The best online lottery sites allow you to purchase tickets without leaving the comfort of your home. Most sites also let you compare odds and jackpots. You can also buy lottery tickets on your smartphone or tablet. However, the downside of buying tickets online is that you’ll only find big-name lotteries and not all smaller games.

Whether you’d rather collect your prize in cash or receive it in an annuity, lottery prizes generally are not taxed when you pass them on to your beneficiaries. The lottery office can notify lottery winners via a toll-free phone number. Once you’ve received your lottery winnings, it’s important to claim them promptly. Otherwise, they’ll sit in the lottery office until you claim them. And the sooner you claim them, the better.