What is an Official Lottery?


An official lottery is a form of gambling in which numbers are drawn at random for a prize. Some governments outlaw it, while others endorse it and organize state or national lotteries. In most cases, playing the lottery is legal and safe when played responsibly.

The history of the lottery goes back hundreds of years. The first official lotteries were held by the Virginia Company of London in 1616 to raise funds to establish settlers at Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in America. The lottery became widely popular in the colonies and was seen as a legitimate source of public funding for all kinds of projects, from churches to libraries and the founding of America’s first and most prestigious universities like Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth and Princeton.

Today, most states and territories offer lotteries. Some run state-only games, while others participate in multi-state lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions. In addition, some jurisdictions use private companies to conduct lottery draws.

The Arizona Lottery uses a digital drawing system from Smartplay Origin(r) RNG Systems of Edgewater Park, New Jersey to select winning numbers for the Pick, Fantasy 5, and Triple Twist games. The system is audited and certified by Smartplay International and KPMG. The drawing machine also has a video camera that records the draw for verification purposes.