Multi-State lotteries are one of the best ways to try your luck in the US and these are run by 47 jurisdictions: 44 states plus Puerto Rico, District of Colombia and the U.S Virgin Islands. The Majority of the States run their own in-state lottery games and every State jurisdiction has certain laws to operate these games independently because there is no National Lottery organization. Mega millions and Powerball are the most popular games in all the jurisdictions and have continued to draw huge interest.
The history of the US lottery is very old and it is believed to originate from the 1600’s. This act of gambling was not accepted by every colony, for example, The Massachusetts Bay Colony didn’t allow dice, gaming tables or cards even in their private residence. Most of the colonies thought of the game as a harmless distraction as long as it is played in a gentlemanly manner.
US lotteries were not only limited to entertainment, however, they were also a source of generating revenues in order to fund the colonies. Financers of Virginia and Jamestown even used lotteries in order to raise the money for their colonies. Slowly colonies started establishing an official lottery system to raise revenue.
In early American history, legislators used to authorize lottery games because they were a source to fund roads, schools, bridges and other public works. By 1830’s people started to raise their voices against the lottery system on moral grounds and petitioned legislature and constitution to ban them. From 1844 to 1859 alone, more than 10 new States agreed and upheld the decision to banlotteries. By the end of 1890, lotteries were banned in every state of the US except Louisiana and Delaware.
Today, lotteries play an important role in State revenues. A huge amount of profit, amounting to many billions, is made by the State government. In the year 2009, lotteries alone raised a whopping profit of $17.6 billion for State budgets. Still, there are some States that do not accept lotteries in the US because of religious objections. Places like Utah, Alabama and Mississippi are amongst the states currently banning lotteries.
Lottery jackpots in the US are tax-free. If you are a winner of a jackpot and you are interested in getting the lump sum amount then you will receive almost half of the headline amount which is much less money than advertised. If you go for extendedpayout then the state will take your present cash value and invest it in bonds or an annuity which will fund your future payments, made over a fixed interval of time.
Gambling losses, including losses on the lottery, are tax exempted in the US. If you spend a significant amount of money on gambling, then your old tickets can be a way to savethrough taxes. However, there are rules and regulations decided on by the IRS for tax exemption and according to the law your losses are tax deductible, but only to the extent of your winnings. You have to report all the money you win as a taxable money on your return.