The Official Lottery App

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The US is home to state-run lotteries, each offering a variety of games including three-digit and four-digit numbers games; scratch-off tickets; and video lottery terminals. Some offer keno and other specialized games. While most states offer a standalone game, others are part of multi-state gaming consortiums that offer a wider geographic footprint and larger jackpots.

Despite their rocky history, state lotteries continue to thrive. Americans spend an estimated $100 billion annually on tickets. The lottery’s enduring popularity is a result of a mixture of factors: an inextricable human urge to gamble, the sexy marketing and billboards, and the message that playing the lottery supports public education and other initiatives.

In addition, state lotteries are a major source of income for religious congregations and charitable groups, and they provide an alternative to paying taxes. In the 18th century, they provided significant funds for Paris’s St. Sulpice and Le Pantheon, according to the National Archives of France.

Lottery proceeds are distributed by the state where the game is played, and each jurisdiction sets its own rules on how to divide up the revenue. Most state lotteries use some portion of the money for advertising and other costs, with the rest used to pay out prizes. A few percent is also paid to retailers as commissions.