You can be safe and legal if you join the official lottery. There is no competition for lottery enthusiasts, so the service offered is not as good as in the official lottery. You also cannot take your money anywhere else if you lose your ticket. However, it’s worth a try if you enjoy gambling. Official lotteries offer more than just cheap tickets. The game of chance has been around for centuries. The Chinese Book of Songs mentions the game as “drawing of wood” or “drawing of lots.”

In colonial America, there were over 200 lotteries between 1744 and 1776. The money raised from these draws helped build roads, libraries, colleges, canals, bridges, and even schools. Princeton and Columbia Universities were funded in the 1740s, while the University of Pennsylvania used the Academy Lottery in 1755. During the French and Indian Wars, several colonies used the lottery to raise money for public projects. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts even used it as a way to raise money for its “Expedition” against Canada.

Many states have their own lottery. Massachusetts has several draw games, along with three multi-state games. Proceeds from the lottery go to state school budgets. The official lottery of Washington offers Mega Millions and five state-only draw games. Profits from these games go towards educational programs. The official lottery of West Virginia offers three in-house and multi-state games. It gives out nearly $1 billion annually to the state’s school aid fund.