What is an Official Lottery?

An official lottery is a game in which players are given a chance to win a prize by matching a set of numbers. Prizes may include cash or goods. Lotteries have been a common form of public funding since the Middle Ages. For example, Benjamin Franklin ran a lottery in the early colonies to raise money for his military campaign. George Washington even managed a lottery to sell land and slaves.

One of the most important features of a lottery is a mechanism for pooling and distributing stakes. This is usually done by dividing tickets into fractions, generally tenths, and selling them separately. Each fraction costs slightly more than the entire ticket. Each ticket also contains a barcode that identifies it as a stake and allows the player to track his or her progress. The ticket holder is only eligible to receive the prize if he or she owns a full share of the total prize pool.

Those who play the lottery often believe that it’s a good way to help out the state. This is a message that lottery officials are eager to promote. They tell players and voters that the games are a great way to fund education, social services, or whatever else is being funded with state dollars. The truth is, however, that state lotteries bring in a relatively small percentage of overall state revenue.

Lottery winners are determined by the Director based on results of drawings held under the supervision of the Director. Winning numbers, jackpots and prize payouts are subject to the enabling statutes, official rules, regulations and procedures of the CT Lottery.