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Players Must Be 18 Years or Older. Online Play is Only Available Within Pennsylvania. Every effort is made to ensure that the winning numbers, prize payouts and other information posted on the Lottery’s websites are accurate. However, a discrepancy between the official drawing results and the information on these sites may occur. In the event of a discrepancy, the official drawing results shall prevail.

While defenders of the lottery sometimes cast it as a “tax on the stupid,” in reality, it is responsive to economic fluctuation: Cohen writes that lottery sales increase as incomes fall and unemployment rises; they also increase with exposure to advertising-which is often targeted at neighborhoods that are disproportionately poor, Black, or Latino.

Lottery profits are usually divided between the cost of running the lottery and profit to sponsors and a proportion to be distributed as prizes. Organizers must also decide how to balance the frequency of large prizes with the risk that larger jackpots will encourage more people to participate and thus diminish the chances of a winner.

In the nineteen-sixties, as state budget crises became increasingly common, lottery advocates, no longer able to sell their tickets as a silver bullet that would float the entire state economy, began to narrow their focus. Instead of arguing that the lottery would cover every government service, they started saying it would support a specific line item, invariably one that was popular and nonpartisan-for example, education or aid to veterans.