Lottery Fever


Lottery fever first swept the South and West in the 1980s, when seventeen states and the District of Columbia began their own lotteries. The trend continued into the 1990s, when another six states joined the fray. The lottery became popular in more states in the following decade, and six more joined after the year 2000. Today, most people approve of lotteries.

Examples of lotteries

Lotteries are a common means of public distribution of money. The history of lotteries dates back two thousand years, and they have been used for all sorts of purposes, from the French and Indian War to Medicaid expansion in Oregon. Today, many colleges and universities use lotteries to choose roommates and assign dorms. Other popular lotteries are used to distribute tickets for Olympic and Superbowl events.

Tax implications of winning

Depending on how you decide to receive your winnings, you may be liable for federal and state income taxes. In some cases, you may have to make estimated tax payments to the IRS. The amount you owe depends on your state of residence, and the IRS can help you figure out what you owe.


The modern lottery was originally a method of settling legal disputes and assigning property rights in the ancient world. By the Middle Ages, it was being used to fund wars and public projects. Under the Roman Emperor Augustus, the concept of the lottery spread throughout Europe. Since then, lottery games have become an immensely popular way to fund government projects and nonprofit organizations.

Distribution of proceeds

A recent report reveals that Massachusetts has a system that unfairly distributes lottery proceeds, causing some of the poorest neighborhoods to suffer. The poorest residents of the state tend to buy more tickets and play more often than people who make more money. For example, to reach a five-billion-dollar lottery jackpot, the average Bay State adult must spend more than $900 on tickets. In contrast, 59 percent of Bay State residents have less than a thousand dollars in savings.

Scratch-off games

Scratch-off games are lottery games with a twist. These instant win games are available in a wide variety of styles and themes. Each scratch-off ticket includes information on its odds and remaining top prizes. They can also be used to enter Bonus Draws.

Sales of tickets

A study of 50 retail outlets in eight central Illinois cities found that 98% of those outlets sold lottery tickets. Despite a ban on the sale of lottery tickets to minors, youths were still able to purchase the tickets. The study found that sales of lottery tickets to minors were on the rise.