Lotteries have evolved from ancient times, and today they are played in many countries worldwide. These games are played to win cash prizes, which are usually in the billions of dollars. Some of the biggest jackpots are in multi-state lotteries such as Mega Millions and Powerball. They are governed by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), a group of 33 states that pool their money to increase ticket sales. Some of these lotteries have national reach, while others are regional, or based outside of the MUSL.
The first records of lotteries date back to Ancient China, when people played the game to finance important government projects. These games helped fund the building of the Great Wall of China, a monument to the Han Dynasty. In the Roman Empire, there were also lotteries that served as entertainment for dinner parties. One of the first commercial lotteries was conducted by the Emperor Augustus. The proceeds of this lottery were to help repair the City of Rome.
Today, lotteries in several states are considering expanding their reach online. Only a few states have opted to legalize online lottery sales, but more are expected to follow suit.