The lottery is a favorite pastime in the United States. The games are available in land-based stores and online. Purchasing a ticket involves filling out a form and choosing a number of numbers. To be eligible to play, the player must be over 18 years of age. Many jurisdictions offer lotteries that are based on a single draw and other state-specific games. There are also several multi-state lotteries.
Powerball and Mega Millions are two of the most popular lotteries in the United States. These lotteries have the largest jackpots and are available almost everywhere. They have been considered the de facto national lottery. However, they are only offered in legal jurisdictions.
Most US states have their own lottery. In addition, several jurisdictions allow the sale of lottery tickets online. Buying a lottery ticket is easy on official websites. Unlike betting sites, the purchase is secure when made through a legitimate vendor. Online lottery sites will send W2-G forms to winners who win more than $500.
Lotteries are not available in Hawaii or Alabama. Though, some states have their own lottery games, such as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Other states have not offered lotteries, such as Utah. And some are still in the process of legalizing them. A few states are even considering introducing online lotteries.
Currently, there are only six jurisdictions that permit the sale of lotteries online. While these states include Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Massachusetts and New Jersey, several more are looking into the possibility of legalizing the practice.
Online lottery purchases are authorized by the state if they are handled by a licensed vendor. Upon winning a prize, the site will automatically withhold 24% of the winnings and pay the state tax. Generally, online lotto sites will also send W2-G forms to the winner if the prize is over $600.
The first state to launch an online lottery was Illinois. It required the identity of players, as well as their date of birth. If the identity cannot be verified, the lottery website will not create an account for the player. Once the person is registered, the lottery website will verify their location through geolocation software.
After Illinois, Georgia followed suit. Georgia is known for its large volumes of electronic tickets. Georgia also launched a mobile app for players to check the drawing results and join public pools. With the app, users can set up plays with their favorite numbers and see the drawings as they happen.
Another state that has launched an online lottery is New Hampshire. Last summer, the state passed an Act of the Legislature allowing the online sale of lottery tickets. Using the iLottery website, players can buy tickets for nine draw games and the Millionaire Raffle. Besides the main draw game, the website offers Cash 4 Life, Fantasy 5, and the Treasure Hunt. Several other lotteries are currently available on the web, including the Mega Millions.
A handful of online lotteries have introduced Instant Games, which are casino-like games that can be played on a smartphone. One of these is the Lucky Block. This lottery is powered by a blockchain technology.