The lottery is a gambling game in which people pay an entry fee for a chance to win a prize, such as cash or goods. The modern concept of a lottery dates back to the Roman Empire, when lotteries were used to distribute articles of unequal value as prizes at dinner parties or for other social events. Modern lotteries may be run by government or privately, and prizes can vary from money to goods to real estate.
State-sponsored lotteries are common in the United States, where they are often used to raise funds for education, public services, or other causes. In 2021, Americans spent over $100 billion on lottery tickets, making them the most popular form of gambling in the world. While the lottery raises significant revenues for many state governments, its costs are also considerable. This article considers whether state-sponsored lotteries are worth the expense to taxpayers.
Lottery Funding to Each County
The California State Controller’s Office determines how much Lottery revenue is dispersed to each county based on average daily attendance for K-12 schools and full-time enrollment for community colleges. Click or tap a county on the map or type a county name in the search box to view its current Lottery funding.
The word lottery first appeared in English in the 15th century, derived from Middle Dutch loterie, which is a calque of Old French Loterie. It was a popular way for towns to raise money for war, aid the poor, and build civic buildings. Francis I of France introduced public lotteries to help finance his military campaigns.