Lottery is a game in which a participant pays a small amount of money which gives him/her an opportunity to get an ultimate prize. The amount raised by different participants is used to award the ultimate winner, to cater for the administrative expenses and the remaining amount of money is the profit that the organizer enjoys.
The American lottery culture is not exclusive, for lotteries are practiced in very many countries legally. Initially, lotteries were raffle tickets which one had to buy to participate. These would take weeks for a final draw to be held. Today, nearly all states lotteries give cash lotto and prompt games. Participants of the games of lotto do selection of numbers from a large set and they are awarded a prize which maybe a cash prize based on the numbers chosen in a transparent random drawing. Others use computer networks interlinked with phones and other operators. The participants can make their own selection or let the computer do that for them, the computer in question is linked to a central server which records all wagers, a quick pick program is used to select a winner.
Most lotto games are also televised live like the state of California uses the big spin: a 35-minute program, in which the players who are chosen through a random lottery drawing spin a big wheel to win cash prizes. In America lottery is state government operated only, through lottery boards or commissions. The state governments have given themselves the exclusive right to organize and operate lotteries. This goes without saying that the state governments enjoy the benefits of being a monopoly in the operation of lotteries.
Money raised from the lotteries is used to fund government programs. It is adults that can purchase a lottery ticket. According to statista.com; there has been steady rise in the lotteries sales in the United States in the last five years (2009 — 2015). The sales rose from $58.25 billion in 2009, 58.82 in 2010, 63.08 in 2011, 68.78 in 2012, 68.88 in 2013, 70.15 in 2014 to finally 73.87 in 2015. This steady rise is an indication that lottery is part of the American culture. Historically, lotteries were used as a basis for fundraising for social and developmental courses.
The first time lotteries were used in America was, it was organized by the then colonial master Britain under King James the first (1566 — 1625) created a lottery for the provision of funds to Jamesontown in Virginia which was the initial permanent settlement of the British in North America. That set a precedent for America lottery culture as a form of funds collection for noble, social and developmental courses. Various presidents in America have used lotteries as a basis of raising funds for different courses. Benjamin Franklin who lived between 1706 and 1790 gave support to lotteries to finance the purchase of canons during the American Revolution.
George Washington (1732 to 1799) ran a lottery in the 1760’s to finance construction of mountain road, Virginia. Henceforth lotteries became common but they fell out of favor in 1820’s when they were held to be harmful to the public. Lotteries, therefore were first prohibited by legislation in America by the New York state and other states followed suit. Between the 1920s and 1960s however, the American lottery culture suffered a huge blow with various states legislating against it.
The period between 60s and 90s saw the rise of lotteries across the states to over forty seven. This was held by analysts as being propagated by the desire and obligation of states to raise revenue.
In the recent times lotteries have been increasingly accepted by the people. The approval rates have been increasingly seen by people in favor and out favor. There are negative perceptions attributed to lotteries. It must be noted tough, that a great number of Americans participate in lotteries. It goes without saying that lottery is and will always be part of the American culture.