Official lottery is a type of gambling in which numbers are drawn at random for a prize. Some governments outlaw the activity, while others endorse it and regulate it. The prizes for winning are often cash, goods, or services. Sometimes the prize is a fixed amount of money, but more often it is a percentage of total receipts. Whether or not it is considered to be gambling, lottery is a popular method of raising funds for various projects. It is also common for government-run lotteries to provide the public with a free service that is a source of entertainment and recreation.

In the 15th century, some towns in the Low Countries (modern Belgium and northern Netherlands) held public lotteries to raise money for town fortifications, or to help the poor. This type of lottery may have been a predecessor of the modern state lottery.

Lotteries are a form of gambling, and as such are subject to laws that apply to all forms of gambling. In many jurisdictions, winnings are taxed. Winnings can be paid out in a lump sum or as an annuity. A lump sum may be less attractive to a winner, considering the time value of money, as well as the fact that the one-time payment may be subject to income taxes in the jurisdiction where the winnings are received.

Play all official state lottery games on your phone, including Powerball and Mega Millions. Get jackpot and winning number alerts, build your digital playslip, use the ticket scanner to check your tickets, and enter 2nd Chance promotions in a snap. Pair your myLOTTERY account with the app to customize your push notifications and opt-in for location-based offers when near a participating retailer.