Online lottery games offer players the chance to win huge prizes, ranging from millions of dollars for Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots to instant-win scratch-offs. They can be found in a number of different formats, including mobile apps and web-based websites, but they all offer a similar user experience. Players can sign up for a free account and use the website to buy tickets or participate in games. Many sites also let users select their numbers automatically, with Quick Pick options available, while others let players choose their own numbers manually.
The best online lottery site will offer a variety of payment methods, including Visa and Mastercard cards, e-wallets like PayPal, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Some of these sites act as middlemen, allowing players to buy tickets for multi-state lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions alongside their own in-house lottery games, while others offer only their in-house lottery offerings. In addition to accepting these various payment methods, the best online lottery sites will be licensed by a reputable government authority.
State lottery offices have been offering their own online games for years, but a growing number of private companies are now entering the space. Some of these companies have partnered with other online gaming businesses to market their games. This allows them to access a larger player base and offer special deals and promotions. Others are establishing their own websites where players can play their favorite lotteries and earn bonuses and rewards for their purchases.
Retail lottery includes any brick-and-mortar setting where printed lottery tickets are sold, including terminals in a store, portable ticket machines for street sales, and point-of-sale (POS) transactions at a register. Some retailers may also allow customers to purchase tickets through a mobile app or the website of a lottery vendor.
Pennsylvania, for example, offers a full range of online lottery products and is currently one of the largest providers. This includes a mobile app that provides the option to buy tickets on the go and a desktop website where players can view results, check past draws, and set alerts. In addition, the Pennsylvania Lottery sells online Keno and lottery instant games.
The District of Columbia was the latest jurisdiction to introduce an online lottery, launching its first games in 2021. It did so without a new law, using provisions that were broad enough to allow it to secure a sports betting supplier in 2019 and then extend that deal to include lottery services. Its initial set of online games were branded as “e-Instants,” and they overlap heavily with those from New Hampshire and Georgia, which have also adopted the same IGT-provided software.