The Official Lottery

official lottery

Official Lottery is the New York state lottery. It has been in operation since 1967 and is one of the most profitable state lotteries in North America. The New York Lottery offers a variety of games, including daily draw games like Numbers and Take 5, plus multi-state games like Powerball. In addition, the New York Lottery also offers cash prizes in a variety of denominations. Federal and state tax withholdings are required on winnings.

While lottery critics hailed from every political stripe and walk of life, many were devout Protestants who regarded state-sanctioned gambling as morally unconscionable. Their attacks, like those of their pro-lottery opponents, focused on both the ethics of funding public services through gambling and the amount of money states stood to gain.

To counter these criticisms, pro-lottery forces reworked their campaigns. They stopped claiming that a state lottery would float the entire budget and began arguing that the revenue could finance a single line item, invariably education but sometimes other government services such as parks or elder care.

As with most commercial products, lottery revenues respond to economic fluctuations. During times of recession or high unemployment, lottery sales rise. In fact, Cohen writes, “Lottery advertising is more heavily promoted in neighborhoods that are disproportionately poor and Black.” But even when the economy is healthy, low-income Americans still spend a greater proportion of their incomes on tickets than do wealthier people. In fact, according to researchers, state lotteries are regressive because they target the very communities that need the most money and encourage them to believe that winning will make them rich fast.