The Official Lottery Website and Apps

Across the United States and Puerto Rico, 45 states plus Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands operate lotteries. These lotteries sell instant-win games as well as drawing games unique to each jurisdiction, and participate in the national Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries. In addition to the official lottery website, many participating lotteries offer mobile apps that let players check winning numbers, purchase tickets, and more. The official app for the Georgia Lottery, for instance, lets players scan their tickets to see if they’re winners, view the latest jackpots and second-chance drawings, and find a retailer.

The prize funds of national and state lotteries vary, but a standard set of elements is common to them all. The lottery must have a mechanism for collecting, pooling, and accounting the money staked on each ticket, with a proportion going as costs and profits to the organizer and another percentage awarded as prizes to participants. The lottery must also decide how often to hold draws and how large the prizes should be.

Historically, lotteries have been a popular method for raising revenue and paying for public projects. For early America, which had no sales tax or income tax and no appetite for instituting either, lottery-financed public works were a painless alternative to taxation. But they have also been a source of moral outrage, as exemplified by Denmark Vesey’s successful use of a local lottery to buy his freedom, and they’ve often been susceptible to corruption.