You can play the official lottery online at the official lottery website. Official lottery websites are run by the state and offer direct access to national and local draws. This is a better option than using betting sites or lottery agents that are not regulated by the state. Buying tickets online is safe and easy. You will receive a ticket image as proof that you participated in an official lottery draw.

State lotteries are a major source of revenue for states. In FY2009, they brought in $17 billion in profits for state budgets. In fact, 11 states made more money from their state lotteries than they did from corporate income taxes. However, lottery policies vary from state to state and often conflict with each other. This is because state legislatures are responsible for establishing lottery policies. Despite this, states have been looking for ways to increase revenue. Massachusetts, for instance, started selling free play coupons to offset the cost of advertising.

Lotteries were used in early American history to raise money for public works and other important projects. Benjamin Franklin even organized a lottery to raise money for cannons for the defense of Philadelphia. Several states used lotteries to fund the Colonial Army. However, many opponents viewed lotteries as a tax and opposed their use.