Lotteries are the oldest forms of legal gambling in the United States. They date back to the Roman Empire and were used by governments to finance important government projects. Most lotteries today operate in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
While most lottery tickets sold in the US are bought in person, a few states allow online ticket sales. Online lottery providers are growing, however, and more states are likely to follow suit in the future.
Several online lottery providers have launched Instant Games, which are similar to scratch-offs. Some online lottery providers offer these games to players on mobile apps and the web. Other providers allow players to choose their own numbers. These companies often work with a third-party lottery number generator, which helps players to choose the right numbers.
One of the first states to sell online lottery tickets was Georgia. In 2012, the Georgia Lottery partnered with iLottery and began selling major drawings online. Then in 2016, the Kentucky Lottery expanded its services to include online sales.
Online ticket sales are currently available in six states. Each state has a different set of lottery offerings. Some offers scratch-offs and multi-state draw games, while others are purely draw games.
Rhode Island’s lottery launched an online service in the summer of 2020, and it uses the same lottery supplier as Georgia and Michigan. It describes its instant win games as e-Instants.
Montana’s lottery is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. It offers a number of draw games and features the Powerball and Mega Millions. There are also in-house scratch-offs and a keno draw. However, the state does not currently offer an online version of the Powerball.
Missouri’s lottery has eight draw games to choose from. Iowa’s lottery offers seven draw games, and Nebraska’s lottery has three. Wyoming’s lottery includes two scratch-offs, one keno draw, and two multi-state draw games.
Pennsylvania’s lottery operates online, and it offers a selection of draw games. However, it does not offer the MegaMillions online. Connecticut’s lottery is authorized to sell tickets online, and may do so in the future. Similarly, Illinois’ lottery website offers both in-house and multi-state draw games. A “Know-Your-Customer” check is conducted on all players. Ticket prizes range from $1 to $20.
The Virginia Lottery offers several draw games to its residents. The proceeds go to public school construction, renovation, and programs for senior care.
Indiana’s lottery is known as the Hoosier Lottery, and it offers a number of in-house and multi-state draw games. North Carolina’s lottery is formally the North Carolina Education Lottery, and it has donated over $5.5 billion to educational programs.
New Hampshire’s lottery is a member of the National Lottery System, and it has several draw games to offer. It offers both a multi-state draw game and a single version of Keno with a top prize of $100,000.
Oregon’s lottery profits help fund state parks and other natural resources, as well as problem gambling treatment and school funding. Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Washington DC all offer lotteries that are run in conjunction with their state governments. Likewise, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico run their own lotteries.