Make Sure the Lottery Results Are Official

Whether you’re buying a ticket or just checking out the results of a lottery drawing, you’ll want to make sure that what you see is official. That means that the winning numbers have been verified and recorded, and the jackpot amount is accurate as of the date of the drawing. This information is verified by the state or other lottery organizer, and you can expect it to be updated as soon as there’s a new winner.

Gale Groseclose of Pineville, North Carolina, was excited to hear that Wednesday’s Powerball prize had grown to a record $1.2 billion. But she was also worried about the impact that a large win might have on her family, particularly her grandchildren. “They could have a lot of financial troubles,” she said.

Lotteries have a long history in the United States. Benjamin Franklin organized one in 1748 to fund a militia for defense against French attacks, and John Hancock ran a lottery to build Boston’s Faneuil Hall. George Washington tried to run one to finance a road over a mountain pass, but it didn’t earn enough money to make the project work.

When the lottery became legal in 1967, politicians began selling it as a silver bullet that would float most of a state’s budget and keep tax rates down. But this proved to be a false hope, and when the lottery’s first few years of revenue showed that it would cover only a small percentage of a state’s budget (for example, about five percent of public education funding in California), the advocates for legalization switched tactics.