The New York Lottery’s official lottery website lets players track winning numbers, purchase tickets and play online games. It also provides information about the prizes and jackpots available in different games. In addition, the site offers a variety of online services that can help players manage their lottery tickets and accounts.
New York’s official lottery began in 1967 and is a government-run operation. The revenue generated by the lottery is dedicated to educational purposes and other public services. Its slogan is “Your Chance of a Lifetime to Help Education.”
Cohen writes that while many religious and civic groups once decried state-sponsored gambling, the advent of the civil war and the subsequent Depression changed attitudes toward lotteries. With states looking for ways to pay for public goods and services without enraging anti-tax voters, the lottery became an attractive option, offering governments a way to “make money appear out of thin air.”
During this first era of American lotteries, private companies were also selling tickets. The Louisiana State Lottery Company, for instance, operated across state lines and even sold tickets to the general public by mail. This shady practice, along with a torrent of complaints about mismanagement and corruption, led to a series of scandals that eventually brought the country’s lotteries to a standstill.
Despite the controversy surrounding the issue of state-sponsored gambling, lottery advocates still had a strong argument to make: Lotteries allowed the government to collect a tax on a product that people were going to buy anyway—again, at a price they viewed as voluntary—while avoiding the more regressive taxes of property and income taxes.