The Official Lottery

The official lottery is a government-regulated form of gambling in which players purchase tickets for a chance to win a prize. Its purpose is to generate funds for the benefit of public services, most commonly education. It is a popular pastime for many people across the United States. In fact, New York Lottery began in 1967 with the first and foremost slogan, “Your Chance of a Lifetime to Help Education.” Since then, it has generated more than 34 billion dollars in revenue for educational purposes.

Although defenders of the lottery sometimes argue that playing it is a tax on stupid people, the truth is that state lotteries are regressive: low-income communities spend far more on instant scratch-off tickets than they do on Powerball and Mega Millions drawings. What’s more, studies show that lottery advertising is heavily concentrated in neighborhoods that are disproportionately poor and Black.

In addition, the percentage of revenue that states receive from the lottery is a drop in the bucket compared to overall state budgets. According to some estimates, it is as low as 1-2 percent. But to politicians faced with declining tax revenues, the lottery looked like a magic trick that could allow them to maintain services without raising taxes.

Please remember to play responsibly and within your means. If you feel that your gambling is out of control, call 2-1-1 or GamblerND in North Dakota or visit Gamblers Anonymous. By clicking submit, you agree to receive up to two automated text messages from PA Lottery at the mobile number provided. Msg & data rates may apply.