Lottery games in the United States
Lotteries and gambling in general have been a familiar element of people’s lives in the US since the XVIIth century. The rulers, English colonists at that time, made great use of such games of chance whenever they needed to raise funds for a particular cause. Seeing the practical use of lotteries, US governments followed this tradition. Nowadays, the US lotteries have grown to become one of the most rewarding investments in the world.
Lottery games in the United States are regulated by 47 jurisdictions comprised of 44 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Some lotteries are only present in parts of these legal authorities, but the two major lottery games are practically considered as national all over US territory.
The first major lottery awarded in the USA is the Powerball. It is allowed in all regulated jurisdictions and can be defined as the greatest US lottery. As a worldwide famous game, the Powerball has turned into a US tradition, especially now that it turned 25 years since its first draw on April, 22 in 1992.
Today’s lottery enthusiasts in the USA are able to purchase their tickets from the local shops or simply play Powerball online. The game’s basics consist of choosing five numbers from a pool of white balls from 1 to 69 and then one Powerball number from a pool of red balls from 1 to 26. You need to guess all six numbers in order to win the jackpot, although players who have guessed five numbers also receive a prize – $1 million. Basically, the Powerball is a progressive jackpot which starts at $40 million and goes up as the sale of tickets increases.
Unlike the Powerball’s draws on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Mega Millions Lottery takes place every Tuesday and Friday. Even though it is thought to be overshadowed by Powerball, Mega Millions is still quite familiar for its major winnings. The chances of winning this lottery are mostly similar to the Powerball, including the second prize of $1 million if you manage to guess all but one number.
The Mega Millions lottery is played by choosing five numbers out of a pool from 1 to 75 and a Mega Ball from 1-15. It is allowed in all jurisdictions except for Puerto Rico which seems satisfied with the revenues from Powerball.
Despite the mutual benefits for governments and citizens alike, some countries such as Utah, Alabama and Mississippi refuse lottery games on their territories due to religions reasons. On the other hand, the state of Nevada is afraid of lotteries as a possible threat to their casino businesses. Ultimately, Hawaii and Alaska have simply decided to contain their wish to sell lottery tickets when their citizens can easily get them online.
All in all, the American lotteries most often combine slim chances and mega generous jackpots in an attempt to entice players and hold their attention.