The official lottery is the system for distributing money, property, goods or services among people by drawing lots. The lottery differs from a raffle in that the prize is based on the chance of winning and money must be paid for a ticket to be eligible for the draw. A lottery may be operated by a government, private company or organization.

The most common use of the lottery is to raise money for public projects such as roads, schools and hospitals. The lottery is also used to award prizes in commercial promotions.

In the United States, state lotteries are independent of each other. However, some states participate in consortiums to offer larger games with greater jackpots.

While some argue that the official lottery is a form of gambling, others point to the history of lotteries in colonial America and in other societies as evidence that they are not harmful. They have also helped finance public works projects, such as the building of the British Museum and the rebuilding of Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Lottery tickets are sold at participating retail locations across the state and through authorized resellers. Players must be 18 years or older to play. The Lottery encourages responsible gambling and has resources available for those experiencing gambling problems. If you need help, call 2-1-1 or visit GamblerND. Lottery proceeds are used for education in New York.