Official Lottery is a form of gambling in which players choose numbers or symbols to win a prize. It is a form of revenue generation for state governments that has been widely adopted in many countries and regions, including the United States. The lottery is considered an alternative to traditional forms of state revenue such as sales taxes, property taxes, and income tax.

State-run lotteries are popular throughout Canada, where provincial and territorial governments control the sale of tickets. Canadian national lotteries include Lotto 6/49 (Ontario), Lotto Max, and Daily Grand. Several provincial lotteries also offer scratch-off games. These games are based on probability and can involve winning a prize ranging from cash to goods and services.

The first modern lottery was launched in New Hampshire in 1964, and 13 more states introduced them within a decade. Some critics, such as devout Protestants, argued that state-sanctioned gambling was unethical. Others argued that, since gamblers were going to spend money anyway, the state might as well collect some of it.

Lottery proponents countered that people viewed state-run gambling as a mechanism of the American dream, particularly for those who were poor, Black, or Latino and tended to face discrimination in the traditional economy. They added that lottery profits were responsive to economic fluctuation; sales rose as unemployment and poverty rates rose, and lotteries were heavily promoted in neighborhoods that tended to be poor, Black, or Latino.

By the late-twentieth century, when states were desperate for ways to boost revenue without upsetting an increasingly antitax electorate, state lotteries had become an important part of the budgetary landscape. Today, however, lottery revenues represent a small percentage of overall state revenue and are collected inefficiently and regressively.