Lotteries are a form of gambling in which players select a number of numbers and hope to match it to a drawn winning number. The odds of winning vary from state to state and may range from one in three million to one in ten billion.
Lotteries have been around for thousands of years. During the Roman Empire, the first known lotteries were organized by Emperor Augustus and distributed to noblemen during Saturnalian revels.
Several colonies in the United States also held lotteries to raise funds for fortifications, roads, libraries, and colleges. In the 17th century, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts used a lottery to finance an expedition against Canada.
Various towns in the Low Countries also held public lotteries. For example, the record dated 9 May 1445 at L’Ecluse describes a lottery to raise money for fortifications.
In the United States, the Connecticut Lottery is one of the oldest organizations in the country. It offers local draw games, as well as multi-state draw games. Profits go to general fund services, education, debt services, and retired employee benefits.
Some states offer online lottery ticket sales. However, most do not. New Hampshire joined a group of US states in 2007 with its own online lottery.
New Hampshire’s lottery includes Mega Millions. Tickets cost $2 and require players to match five numbers from a set of 70. If the player is lucky enough to have five of the correct numbers, the jackpot is usually one million dollars.