One of the advantages of participating in an official lottery is that the tickets are safe and guaranteed to be legitimate. While it is possible to purchase lottery tickets in other ways, the lack of competition in the field results in a lackluster service. In addition, you won’t be able to take your winnings elsewhere.

The first official lottery that offered money prizes appeared in the Low Countries during the fifteenth century. Various towns and cities held public lotteries to raise money for poor people or to build fortifications. Some states viewed these lotteries as civic duties and established churches and universities using the proceeds. A Massachusetts lottery, for example, raised funds for a major military expedition against Canada.

When buying tickets online, it’s important to be sure you’re dealing with an official lottery vendor, a state-licensed lottery website. This will help you claim your prizes and avoid fraud. Official lottery websites are also safe and secure, which is why you should always purchase your tickets from them. They’re also more secure than lottery agent websites or betting sites. You can search for your state lottery site using the official lottery website directory.

The North Carolina lottery has been running since 2005. Officially called the North Carolina Education Lottery, the lottery has contributed $5.5 billion to education programs. In fact, 30% of the state’s lottery revenue is allocated to education programs. In North Carolina, the official lottery features three in-house draw games and three multi-state games. It is broadcast live on six television stations in the state.