The history of the lottery in the United States is much less complex than the history of many other countries. The first record of a lottery can be found in Ancient China, dating between 205 and 187 BC. It is believed that this ancient game helped finance major government projects, including the Great Wall of China. In ancient Rome, the first lotteries were organized as entertainment for dinner parties and as a way to raise funds for the rebuilding of the city. Emperor Augustus later organized the first commercial lottery, which he used to repair the City of Rome.
There are 44 state-wide lotteries in the United States. These include the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. The only states that do not have state-level lotteries are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Nevada. However, Mega Millions and Powerball are widely available, and considered de facto national lottery games. The state-level lottery games are largely the same. It’s up to each state to decide what to do to make their lottery more accessible to the general public.
In the US, the majority of states allow their players to check the lottery results, find the rules, and buy tickets online. Online lottery sites offer similar services to brick-and-mortar retailers. In New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts, lottery websites have been regulated, and the state of Michigan has a web-based lottery platform that allows players to buy and sell lottery tickets. Currently, the state of Michigan offers four different lottery games: Powerball, Mega Millions, and single state MI.