Lotteries are widely played in western countries like the UK and the USA. The history of lotteries began in the United States in the beginning of the nineteenth century when private lotteries were considered legal. It is only in the later years that the individual state governments started sponsoring lotteries periodically.

After the first modern lottery among the states of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire was formed in 1985, the Multi-State Lottery Association was formed with some other states in 1988. States that joined this association as Charter members mostly play Powerball.

These states are Iowa, Rhode Island, Kansas, Oregon, West Virginia, District of Columbia and Missouri. In 1996 there was a formation of the Big Game, presently known as Mega Millions. States involved in the formation of this interstate lottery are Massachusetts, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland and Virginia. Later more states namely New York, New Jersey, Texas, California and Washington contributed to its expansion by joining as members.

Video lottery terminals, keno, instant lottery tickets known as scratch cards, Cashola, Wild Card 2, Mid West Millions, Tri-State lottery, Win for Life and Lotto are some of the other interstate lotteries that we introduced later. Lotto is one of the most commonly played lottery games together with other number games as Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6. Some lotteries are played as frequently as twice in a day. Presently Sweepstakes are also part of the lotteries and they involve promotion of consumer sales together with marketing promotions. Prizes may vary from amounts less than one dollar to more than one million dollars and are also played at the international level.

The positive side to the contribution of the lottery system to the country is that the profits obtained are utilized for noble purposes as funds for education and charitable organizations.

By Art Robertson
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