In the early days of the colonial period, lottery tickets were often sold for money prizes. The first recorded lotteries were in the Low Countries, when towns used the games to raise money for a town’s fortifications or poor. Earlier lotteries may have been as old as ten centuries ago, and town records indicate they may be much older than that. In 1445, L’Ecluse, France, has a record that mentions a lottery for raising funds to build its walls and fortifications. There, four hundred and thirty-four tickets were sold to people who thought they had a chance of winning a large amount of money. These winnings were worth florins, which are the equivalent of US$170,000 today.
Legalization of online gaming has not yet spread to online lotteries, but most states that have legalized the lottery have done so through a legislative process. Most states add formal language to their statutes, such as “including sales over the Internet” to avoid a future administration challenging the legality of these online games. But two states – Rhode Island and Washington D.C. – have largely dispensed with the legislative process and have added online products without going through the legislative process.
Many online lottery sites also offer incentives for repeat play. Some will offer a discount on the next ticket when a user reaches a certain threshold, or refund the first one purchased. Some sites will even try to encourage players to subscribe to their services, which keeps them in the loop for all future draws. Alternatively, some brands offer free tickets for every tenth or fifteenth lottery game a player plays. Referring friends can also provide additional income. Some lottery websites even reward players for referring friends. These referrals may earn bonus cash on the next game that they play.
Many Northeastern states have passed bills to legalize online lotteries. New Hampshire, for example, launched an online lottery last summer, and its e-Instant games are available for players to play from their desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are also in the process of legalizing online lotteries. While online lottery sites are not yet legal in every state, they can be a good alternative to brick and mortar lotteries.
While the modern lottery dates back to the 17th century, there are many state lotteries throughout the US. In fact, newspaper advertisements from the colonial era suggest hundreds of lottery games were operating in the eighteenth century. In the United States, the first state to introduce a lottery was New Hampshire, which made the game legal in the US. Today, more than half the US states have a lottery, including Washington DC. While some of these states have drawing games and instant win games, others offer the chance to become an instant billionaire.
The US’ oldest interstate lottery is Power Ball, which started in 1992 and has been offered in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The jackpot for the Power Ball has reached over $1.5 billion dollars, which is the largest jackpot ever! Power Ball participants select five numbers from one through 69 and a Power Play option that can multiply non-jackpot prizes by ten. Power Ball draws are held on Wednesday and Saturday nights.