Buying tickets for the lottery is the oldest form of legal gambling in the US. The state lottery systems operate in 45 US states and Puerto Rico. There are multi-state lotteries such as Mega Millions, Powerball, Treasure Hunt, and Millionaire Raffle. The US lottery offers almost 1,000 drawings per week.
Purchasing tickets online is becoming more common. Six states offer online lottery games, and several more states are seeking to legalize online lottery games. Some states offer instant win games as well.
Buying tickets online is safe when they are purchased from an official vendor. Online lottery sites use geolocation software to verify the identity of the user. If the user is from a state that sells lottery tickets online, the site will automatically withhold 24% of the federal tax from the ticket price. The site will also send W2-G forms to any winners over $600.
Online lotteries are not as popular as sports betting, and only a few states have allowed online ticket sales. While the online lottery is growing, it has not affected the revenue of the physical lottery. The US lottery is a lucrative business that contributes to the general fund of the states.
The Connecticut Lottery Corporation is a quasi-public state agency that generates revenue in a socially responsible way. It paid out $925 million in prize money in fiscal year 2021. It has contributed $10.6 billion to the state’s General Fund since 1972. It also paid 83 million in commissions to retailers.