In the Low Countries, the first recorded lottery was held in 1445. Throughout that time, towns held public lotteries to raise funds for the poor and town fortifications. There are indications that there were fewer lotteries in Europe than the United States today, but the idea is a long time old. A record dated 9 May 1445 in L’Ecluse, France, refers to a lottery of 4,304 tickets for florins, which is roughly equal to US$170,000 in 2014.
In the United States, most state lotteries sell lottery tickets online, though only a few states have authorized the practice. There are also offshore lottery providers that advertise on the internet but are unregulated in the United States. In addition to the state lottery websites, only official lottery vendors can pay lottery winners. To ensure fair play and avoid fraud, only buy official lottery tickets from the official lotteries. In addition, purchasing tickets online is safer, easier, and more enjoyable.
In the United States, lottery registration is free through the State Department. However, a website, individual, or company claiming to do so charges a fee for the service. It is wise to seek professional lottery advice and use a representative. Beware of commercial websites that claim to be official government sites and charge a fee for registration. It is best to register yourself directly through the state lottery website. There are numerous lottery websites that pose as official government sites and are more likely to be fraudulent than legit.