The United States Lottery


The United States has several lottery systems. Most of them are state-run monopolies, meaning commercial lotteries are not allowed to compete with them. They use the money they generate to fund public projects. As of August 2004, there were forty state lotteries in operation. In addition to New York, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington state, the lottery was also offered in the state of Texas.

According to the National Association of State Lottery (NASPL), there are nearly 186,000 lottery retailers in the U.S. The highest concentration of lottery retailers is in Texas, New York, and California. About three-fourths of those retailers offer online services. Of those, half are convenience stores, while the remaining are nonprofit organizations, service stations, restaurants, bars, and newsstands.

While there are numerous lottery stories, there are only a handful that are truly shocking. For example, one woman who lost her $1.3 million jackpot in 2001 is trying to collect her prize from her ex-husband. While the lottery officials told her that the money was a marital asset, she did not disclose it in the divorce. The ex-husband later discovered that she had not disclosed it to the court, so the court awarded her with 100% of the prize and her attorneys’ fees.

The lottery industry has been changing over the past few decades. Many states have added new games to their lottery offerings. Some have partnered with sports franchises and brands. In Texas, for example, the state lottery has offered a Corvette convertible to one lucky player. In Missouri, the lottery awarded sixty trips to Las Vegas with $500 in spending money. The winning tickets also included the payment of federal and state income taxes.