Official lottery is a form of gambling where tickets are sold with a prize that is either money or goods. The prize can be fixed or can vary by percentage of ticket receipts. The first lotteries arose in the fifteenth century in Europe, with towns selling tickets to raise money for town fortifications and charity for the poor. Official New York lottery was launched in 1967 and has generated millions of dollars for the state. It has also contributed to the building and repair of many roads, canals, ferries and other infrastructure in the city. Lottery funds have also helped fund several educational projects in the state.

Although some critics argue that lotteries prey on the poor, most people who play the game do so voluntarily. The vast majority of lottery revenue is spent by participating players, not by lottery officials or government. The question is whether governments should be in the business of promoting gambling, given its addictive nature. The overwhelming majority of U.S. states have opted in to the practice.

The Pennsylvania lottery offers games like Lotto, Mega Millions, Cash4Life, Take 5, Keno and Powerball. The games are available at authorized retailers throughout the state. The lottery website offers players a variety of online services, including tracking lottery results and finding physical retailers. The site also provides information on how to play responsibly and helps players find help if they have a problem. Players must be 18 years old or older to purchase tickets.