The first recorded lottery tickets date from the Han Dynasty in China, which dates from between 205 and 187 BC. These were sold to finance large government projects, and were believed to be the first official lottery. The game was also mentioned in the Chinese Book of Songs, where the players were promised immunity from arrest for crimes other than piracy, murder, treason, and felonies. Today, there are hundreds of official lottery games throughout the world.

Some state lotteries are considering expanding sales of their official lottery tickets online. But only a few states are authorized to sell lottery tickets online. In fact, there are some offshore lottery providers that claim to sell tickets online, but are not regulated or affiliated with state lotteries. In addition, official lottery websites pay out lottery winners. These online lottery websites also offer lower costs than lottery agents. And you can be assured of the authenticity of your purchase – an official lottery ticket comes with an authentic ticket stub.

An official lottery form is required to claim a prize. Players and lottery agents can use the claim form to file a claim. There are also procedures for awarding prizes. Often, a player has 90 days to claim a scratch-off ticket, while players can claim winnings 180 days after the draw date. The Columbia Claims Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it is recommended that you arrive early to avoid delays in verification.