The first recorded lotteries offered money prizes on lottery tickets. Low Countries towns organized public lotteries to help fund town fortifications or poor people. While lottery games in the US date back to the early 1800s, they may be even older. A record from the city of L’Ecluse dated 9 May 1445 mentions a lottery, which offered prizes of 4,304 florins (about US$170,000 in 2014).
Lottery players can choose from several games, including five-digit games. The five-digit game is known as Pick 5 and requires players to choose five numbers to play. The prize payouts in these games are usually fixed and don’t change based on the number of tickets sold. Other games are called daily numbers. The lottery’s contracts usually contain a force-majority clause to protect against non-performance. The four-digit game requires a player to choose four numbers. The prize pool is the money collected from the sales of lottery tickets.
Online lotteries are not new. Online lottery games, for example, first appeared in 2012, and many states have followed suit. Washington DC and Rhode Island have also gotten into the game. While these state lotteries are fairly new, their popularity is growing quickly. The Internet is now so prevalent that the lottery can be played in most states. And as of today, there are 45 state lotteries in the US. The Virgin Islands, which have not run a lottery since 1992, will start one in 2021.