The Official Lottery Website

Official lottery

Whether you play in person or online, the New Hampshire Lottery is here to help. This page is intended to be a comprehensive resource for our players and provides answers to common questions about the lottery. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us.

In the fourteen-hundreds, lotteries were common in the Low Countries, where they raised money for town fortifications and charity. In the seventeen-hundreds, enslaved people used local lotteries to buy freedom. By the nineteenth century, the moral and religious sensibilities that eventually led to prohibition had started to turn against gambling of all kinds.

A growing awareness of the money to be made in gambling collided with a state-budget crisis. In the late-twentieth century, booming population and inflation made it impossible for many states to balance their budgets without raising taxes or cutting services. Lottery profits could be a great way to fill the gaps, but they weren’t nearly enough to cover expenses.

Lottery critics hailed from all walks of life, but the most vocal opponents were devout Protestants, who saw government-sanctioned gambling as immoral. In some cases, they feared that if the lottery proved to be too popular, people would switch to bingo games hosted by Catholic high schools, which often drew bigger crowds than the lotto itself.

Despite these concerns, the lottery boomed, and by the end of the twentieth century, more than half the country had legalized it. The modern lottery works on the principle that a fixed percentage of total receipts goes toward prizes. Some lotteries print a preprinted list of numbers or symbols on the ticket; others let bettors choose their own numbers from an acceptable pool. Regardless of format, modern lotteries usually use computers to record each bettors’ chosen number or symbol.