The lottery is a booming industry that raises billions of dollars every year for state governments. And although it may seem like a modern product of the culture that birthed Instagram and the Kardashians, its roots in America are as old as the nation itself.

But the lottery is no stranger to controversy. Its biggest advocates argue that the money raised through ticket sales provides a necessary revenue stream for schools, social services, and infrastructure projects. But critics say the same campaigns that touted lottery revenues as a way to fund the future of children often wildly overstate the impact of the games on state budgets.

Lottery advertising also aims to keep players hooked by using flashy images of multimillionaires, and promoting the game in places where people are likely to see it. And as with other addictive products, lottery companies are well aware that it takes just a few wins to become addicted. Winners can be tempted to keep buying tickets to the point of addiction, and the lure of big prizes is often used by criminal organizations to recruit young people into illegal activities.

These days, 44 states and the District of Columbia offer a lottery. The six that don’t—Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Utah, and Nevada—choose not to run a lottery because they either disagree with gambling or want to avoid competition from private entities. And while the lottery’s popularity has increased, a few states are considering banning it altogether.