The Official Lottery App

The Official Lottery App puts fun and convenience in the palm of your hand. Play instant games, check results, scan a ticket’s barcode to see if you won, and enter Second-Chance drawings. The New York Lottery’s proceeds help fund New York City and Yonkers public schools. Download today! Just enter your mobile number below or text APP to 66835. (Msg & data rates may apply).

State lotteries are thriving, with Americans spending about $100 billion annually on tickets. But their history is a long and sometimes rocky one.

Cohen explains that they were once “budgetary miracles.” For politicians facing fiscal crises without the luxury of raising taxes, lottery initiatives offered an opportunity to make money appear out of thin air. The resulting revenue would keep government services going, while allowing politicians to dodge the wrath of an anti-tax electorate.

Lottery commissions are not above availing themselves of the psychology of addiction. From ad campaigns to the design of the tickets themselves, everything about the lottery is designed to keep players coming back for more. It’s a strategy not so different from those employed by tobacco companies or video-game makers—it just happens to be run under the auspices of the government.

In addition, New York’s Lottery is unique in that it requires winners to give their name and a valid address on the winning ticket, as well as the name of their trust. This information is used to verify winners’ identities and to send them their prize money.