Lotteries were first held in the Low Countries in the early 15th century as a way to raise money for poor people and for public projects. They proved to be extremely popular and were seen as a painless form of taxation. Today, the oldest lottery still in operation is the Staatsloterij, which was first established in 1726 in the Dutch province of Liège. The name lottery comes from the Dutch noun ‘lot’, which means “fate”.
In the early days of the United States, lotteries were used to fund public projects like roads and libraries, and to build canals and bridges. They were also used to fund schools and colleges. Princeton and Columbia University were financed by a lottery in the 1740s, and the University of Pennsylvania was founded with the Academy Lottery in 1755. In addition, several colonies used lotteries to raise money during the French and Indian War. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts used a lottery to raise money for an expedition against Canada in 1758.
Official lottery websites are state-owned and offer direct access to local and national draws. They also provide a variety of benefits for lottery players. In addition to the convenience of purchasing lottery tickets online, official lottery sites also offer access to promotions and results.