An official lottery is one that is sanctioned and run by a government body. These lotteries are governed by specific rules and regulations to ensure that players are treated fairly. For example, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation is the state’s official lottery. Connecticut residents can purchase fanfolded tickets bearing a single Pack Number.

The first official lottery with money prizes appeared in the Low Countries during the 15th century. Various towns held public lotteries to raise money for the poor and to build fortifications. In some cases, these public lotteries were viewed as civic duties and the proceeds were used to build universities and churches. Interestingly, the state of Massachusetts even raised money for its military expedition against Canada using the proceeds of an official lottery.

Other states have their own official lottery. In Indiana, the lottery is known as the Hoosier Lottery. In addition to several local games, it offers games like Mega Millions, Powerball, and Cash4Life. The state also receives a share of lottery profits to support the school fund. In Iowa, the lottery is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association. There are also two multi-state games offered by the Iowa Lottery. These games contribute to the state’s general fund and are allocated by the governor.

As with any form of gambling, the government of a country may outlaw or endorse a particular lottery. In some countries, lotteries are prohibited, while others endorse them and regulate them. The most common regulations involve the prohibition of lottery sales to minors and the licensing of lottery vendors. Historically, lotteries were illegal in the U.S. and in most parts of Europe until after World War II.