When it comes to legal lottery in the United States, there are 45 states that operate lottery games in some capacity. The remaining two states, Alaska and Hawaii, do not. There are two other states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, that operate their own lotteries. Those two states have plans to legalize online lottery sales in the near future.
Despite the fact that there are only six states that currently allow online lottery sales, many more states are considering allowing online tickets to be purchased. In fact, Massachusetts is currently in the process of implementing a program to legalize lottery tickets sold on the Internet. Some Northeastern states are also seeking to legalize the practice, such as Rhode Island and New Jersey.
Most lottery tickets can be purchased through the official websites of the state lottery. These sites use geolocation software to verify that the buyer is within the state’s borders. Once a customer makes a purchase, the site automatically withholds 24% of the purchase price in federal tax. For prizes less than $600, the online lotto website will handle the tax payments on the winner’s behalf.
Although many states already offer lottery games on the Internet, online lotteries have not become as popular as sports betting. However, the number of games that are offered has increased. Several large lottery games have started to have instant win options, which are casino-like games that can be played on the web or on mobile devices.
The first online lottery to be authorized in the US was in Illinois. In March 2012, the state launched a pilot program for the sale of lottery tickets on the Internet. It later added Daily Lottery Games and Powerball lottery tickets to its website.
Other states that offer online lottery tickets include Iowa, Ohio, Georgia, Nevada, and Michigan. All of these states provide lottery players with the opportunity to buy and play a variety of draw and instant win games. Many online lottery games cap out at less than $20. Several states have also implemented e-Instant games. These are similar to scratch-off games.
Most lottery proceeds are used to fund educational programs. Currently, the North Carolina Lottery has contributed over $5.5 billion to educational efforts. One of the state’s biggest games, MegaMillions, has a top prize of $1 billion. But the state’s proceeds are also used to help solve problem gambling, protect natural resources, and support open space conservation.
Indiana’s Hoosier Lottery offers several local games, such as Keno, as well as the big ticket lottery game, Powerball. The state also funds scholarship lotteries for students. Several other states, including Arkansas and Pennsylvania, also offer lottery games.
Kansas Lottery offers five multi-state games. Oklahoma Lottery has four draw games. Colorado has several instant win games and offers the Mega Millions. Meanwhile, New Mexico’s lottery has a variety of draw games and scratchers. And Massachusetts features eight drawing games.
With a little bit of luck and a few dollars, you could be a millionaire. However, you will need to be at least 18 years old to legally play the lottery. Only one state, Utah, has not legalized lottery games.