What is a Lottery?

The lottery is a form of gambling in which people pay a small amount of money for the chance to win a large sum of money, often millions. It’s commonly a state-sponsored game and the prize fund is set by law as a percentage of total receipts (with profit for the promoter, costs of promotion, and taxes usually deducted).

Americans spend over $80 Billion on Lottery tickets every year. That’s a lot of money, but is it wise? It’s important to think about the financial implications of winning a big jackpot before spending any money. Before accepting a cash windfall, you should have hammered out a wealth management plan, done some long-term thinking and financial goal setting. You should also consider how you want to receive your money – lump sum, annuities, or scheduled payments – and the tax consequences.

What are the odds of winning the lottery? How much was the biggest jackpot ever won? This video explains the concept of a Lottery in a simple, easy-to-understand way for kids & beginners. It can be used as a money & personal finance resource for students and teachers, or as part of a Financial Literacy course or K-12 curriculum.

States like to promote their lotteries as a good thing because they “help the children.” But that message ignores how big of a hole states are digging themselves into by relying on them for revenue. It also assumes that people who play the lotteries are doing their civic duty by supporting the state, or at least don’t think they are wasting their money.