Legality of Buying Lottery Tickets


The lottery was first introduced in New York in 1967, and was soon followed by thirteen other states. By the end of the decade, lottery sales reached $53.6 million annually, and enticed residents of neighboring states to purchase tickets. Lotteries were quickly adopted, and they quickly became an increasingly popular way to fund public projects without significantly raising tax rates. Many states have a history of tolerance toward gambling activities, so lottery sales became an attractive option for conservative and Catholic populations.

The economic arguments for lottery participation are compelling. In addition to providing a means for states to generate extra revenue without having to raise taxes, lottery profits help small businesses and larger companies that participate in marketing campaigns and advertising. A lottery also provides cheap entertainment to individuals who want to participate. Hence, it is easy to understand why so many people play and support it. But, before you decide whether to purchase lottery tickets, make sure you know the legality of buying lottery tickets.

The concept of drawing lots dates back to ancient times. The Bible instructs Moses to take a census of the people of Israel and divide their land by lot. In ancient Rome, lotteries were popular forms of entertainment for the people. The Roman emperors also held lotteries to distribute property and slaves. The ancient Romans referred to the game as apophoreta, meaning “that which is carried home.”