New York’s Official Lottery

An official lottery is a form of gambling that uses a random drawing to distribute money or prizes. Most state governments operate their own lotteries to raise money for a variety of purposes, such as public schools and infrastructure. In the United States, there are also federal and national lotteries that are regulated by the federal government and may have additional restrictions on who can participate.

Lotteries are generally legal, but they can still be a trap for the unwary. Whether state-run or federal, they must comply with all applicable laws, including those regarding fraud and forgery. In addition, federal law prohibits a lottery operator from offering prizes to people who purchase tickets from different states or countries, and it’s illegal for anyone to solicit or accept fees in connection with a lottery prize.

New Yorkers approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the state lottery in 1966, and the proceeds are “applied exclusively to education.” The state’s first official lottery drawing was held on December 4, 1967.

In the early fourteen-hundreds, lottery games were popular in the Low Countries and were used to finance everything from town fortifications to churches and universities. The practice spread to England, where the Royal Charter of the first lottery in 1567 designated its profits for “reparation of the Havens and Strength of the Realme.”

New Yorkers can purchase official state-run lottery tickets at authorized retailers, including supermarkets. However, the New York Lottery warns that any ticket that has been mutilated or otherwise altered, or that does not meet validation and security requirements, is invalid.