The Official Lottery Rules

You must be 18 years old or older to play and claim prizes. Tickets and prize winnings must be claimed within 182 days from the drawing date. For more information, check the Official Rules of the Lottery.

For most of its history, the lottery was illegal in most states due to moral religious concerns, scandals, and a widespread belief that it was a tax on stupid people. However, in the nineteen-sixties, growing awareness of all the money to be made in gambling collided with a crisis in state funding. With booming populations, inflation and the costs of Vietnam and other wars, it became impossible for many states to balance their budgets without raising taxes or cutting services.

In response, lawmakers adopted a variety of measures to raise revenue, including state-run lotteries. In addition to federal prohibitions, the majority of American lotteries are operated by individual state governments, while others are run through multi-state associations like Mega Millions. While some of these lottery entities are publicly held, most are privately owned by private investors.

Legitimate state and provincial lotteries do not ask consumers to wire money or provide personal banking information. Any lottery communication that asks you to send money or disclose personal information is a scam. In addition, legitimate lottery operations will never ask you to cash a check. You should also be suspicious of emails that ask for your bank account number, credit card number or check routing number.