The Official Lottery App

Official Lottery offers you the chance to play the New York State lottery on your phone, tablet or computer. You can get customized lottery notifications, see if you are a winner and more! The app also helps you stay in the know with jackpots and Scratchers. Download it today to stay in the know on all things Lottery!

In the early days of American lotteries, Cohen explains, the games were “budgetary miracles, the chance for states to make revenue appear seemingly out of thin air.” In a nation defined by its aversion to taxation, lotteries appealed to politicians eager to maintain services without raising taxes.

From 1964 to 2019, state-run lotteries have raised an estimated $502 billion. But, as a percentage of overall state budgets, that amount is small. And, if you dig down into the numbers, it’s not clear that the money is actually being spent wisely.

The most popular way to win a lottery prize is by matching the winning numbers in a drawing, but some states also offer instant tickets (or scratch-off tickets) and keno-like games. Many also offer sports team and individual player lotteries to boost sales and generate buzz.

In addition to the prizes, the winner can also benefit from public exposure — a major perk for lottery players, as they are often portrayed as heroes and role models. But, the winners are still required to pay taxes on their award and go through a background check before they can receive it.