There are two major types of lotteries: those that offer fixed prizes and those that offer players the opportunity to select their own numbers. A fixed prize is a prize that is awarded regardless of how many tickets are sold. The prize may be a sum of money, goods, or a combination of both.

Many recent lotteries allow purchasers to select their own numbers. These include games like Lotto, Powerball, and Mega Millions. In addition to these, there are also instant win games, known as Scratchers, where players have a chance to win a prize by scratching off a silver film.

Most online lottery sites work much like sportsbooks, accepting bets on lotteries throughout the world. Buying a ticket is usually a one-time fee. However, some lottery subscriptions are available, allowing customers to buy a ticket for each drawing. This type of lottery subscription can vary in cost depending on the number of drawings.

Usually, the revenue from the lottery goes to local programs. Some governments regulate, or even outlaw, lotteries. Others endorse them.

While the majority of lotteries are operated by governmental agencies, there are also some state lotteries that permit online play. Players can buy tickets from official state lottery websites, and some even offer instant win scratch cards.

Some states with legal online lotteries sell tickets through apps on their mobile devices. These can be helpful in discovering promotions, scanning tickets for second-chance draws, and checking winning numbers.