How to Play the Lottery in America


Lotteries are quite incredibly popular in the US Available in 47 jurisdictions, including 44 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia; lotteries are available to millions of people.

That said, the federal government doesn’t have a national lottery organization. Instead, consortiums organize games spanning bigger geographical footprints. These organizations jointly carry the larger jackpots like the Powerball and Mega Millions.

The two are offered in almost all the 47 jurisdictions and serve as the country’s de facto lotteries. Those interested in playing American lotteries can do so by buying tickets from any of the recognized online lotteries provides. Check out how you can play American lotteries below.

Find a Legitimate Site

American lotteries can be played in authorized retailers present in 13 states or online in the jurisdictions that allow them. It’s easy to find a genuine retailer. But just to be sure, learn more about the lottery in America at You’ll also discover the rules and interesting facts surrounding popular lotto games.

 That said, the best way to buy lotto tickets is through an online retailer. No need to leave your home or schedule time to visit a land-based retailer. However, ensure the site you choose is a legitimate one and that in case you win; it will pay your winnings as per the terms of the agreement.

Some sites will even claim that they can sell you tickets by sending out people to buy the tickets on your behalf from the recognized retailers. Such sites are not regulated in the United States. Their legitimacy is questionable, so stay away from them.

How to Buy Tickets

After identifying a secure site, the next thing you will need to think about is how you can buy tickets.An increasing number of jurisdictions are shifting to online tickets sale. The need to raise more revenue without imposing greater taxes on Americans has made several states consider the sale of tickets online.

Allowing this increase the number of people who buy tickets and subsequently increasing revenue. And going by the progress so far, it appears this has had a positive outcome as most of the states have already legalized online ticket sales.

For individuals to buy a ticket online, they have to be within the state lines of the particular state they are buying tickets from. Some states require you to be their resident to access online lottery ticket sales. Once you’ve meet these regulations, you can go ahead and buy a ticket using the following process.

Step 1

Choose the lottery that you wish to play. You can play multiple lotteries at a time. You will then select the number of draws you wish to participate in. This is followed by choosing your lucky numbers by clicking on each. The numbers you select will change into a darker colour.

Step 2

After you are certain you are okay with the number you have selected, it’s time to add your entry by pressing the play button. Your entry will be added to a list where you can continue adding more entries until you have all of them in. To play the entries, click the continue button. You will be redirected to the payment page.

Step 3

In this step, you will be required to pay for your tickets. You can make payments via Debit/Credit Cards like MasterCard and VISA, Lottery Vouchers or any other payment method your ticket seller may accept. This could even include e-Wallets like Skrill and Neteller or maybe pay by phone.

Buying Tickets from a Physical Retailer

You can also choose to visit a state-based retailer to purchase your tickets. The process is almost the same in that it involves selecting your lucky numbers, indicating number of draws you wish to enter and then paying for the tickets.

The retailer you visit will guide you on exactly what you need to do. The process may vary from one lottery to the other, but the difference is minimal. All of them tend to observe the steps above, with a few additions here or there.

Wait for the Results

You need to keep a record of the numbers you chose. If you have real tickets, keep them safe until the draw is over. This will help you prove that you are indeed the owner of the tickets in case you are the winner.

To check if you have won, visit the winning numbers page. There are several sites that publish up to date and factual information regarding different lottery winners and other news related to American lotteries. You can rely on the information published on such sites.

Lottery Drawings

Knowing when drawings are held for each lottery is equally important as knowing how to buy lottery tickets. You don’t want to find yourself going to buy a ticket for a particular lottery when the time for doing so has expired.

Drawings take place at different times of the week for each lottery type. For instance, Mega Millions has its drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 PM local time, during which winners are announced.

You will be the top winner if the numbers on a single row of your ticket match the five white balls drawn from numbers ranging between 1 and 70. If your chosen gold Mega Ball number is similar to the one drawn from numbers 1 to 25, you are crowned the jackpot winner.

You should note, that there are several combinations that determine winners apart from the two mentioned above. Each lottery has a way of determining its winners, but the process is closely linked. For example, taking the case of Mega Millions again, there are up to nine ways through which you can win a prize.

Popular American Lotteries

The two main lotteries are Powerball and Mega Millions. They are available in almost every other state and are the most offered in online lottery sites. Other lotteries available in different states across America includeLucky for Life, Lotto America, Cash4Life Lottery, and Tri-State Lottery and 2by2 Lottery.

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