The First Official Lottery

The first official lottery recorded in Europe was in the Roman Empire. It was organized by Emperor Augustus and distributed by wealthy noblemen during Saturnalian revels. Each guest was given a ticket. Often, the prizes consisted of fancy dinnerware.

A record dated 9 May 1445 at L’Ecluse mentions the lottery of 4,304 tickets. These tickets were sold for a prize of 1737 florins, which is equivalent to US$170,000.

Lotteries were common in the Netherlands in the 17th century. They raised money for public purposes, including libraries and fortifications. Some colonies also used lotteries during the French and Indian Wars.

In 1769, Col. Bernard Moore’s “Slave Lottery” offered slaves and land as prizes. His managers included George Washington.

Today, lottery revenue goes to local programs. It can be used to combat homelessness and drug treatment.

Several states offer online lottery ticket sales. Players can buy tickets from a website or download an app. Many state lotteries offer instant win scratch cards as well.

To play online, players must be in the same state as the lottery. Some states allow online subscriptions, which allow customers to buy tickets for each drawing. Depending on the number of drawings, the cost of a subscription may vary.

Some states also have in-house draws. This allows players to enter a major multi-state draw from the comfort of their own home.

Online lotteries can be purchased via an official state-sponsored website. Some sites charge the same price for online tickets as they do for real-world tickets.