Online lottery is a lot like traditional lottery, but instead of purchasing entries into government-run games such as MegaMillions or EuroJackpot, you purchase entry into an online lottery run by private businesses. The companies act as middlemen for the actual games, buying tickets into a particular draw on your behalf and then keeping the ticket until the drawing happens. They also handle prize collection, making it much easier than going to a store and filling in your numbers.
Most state-run lotteries have some online offerings, though they vary widely. Some allow players to buy tickets directly from the official website, while others use third-party courier services that offer a similar process. These services are typically based in the United States and operate in several states, using representatives to physically purchase tickets on your behalf and then scan them into an account. They usually don’t charge any extra for their service, but they do add on a small markup to the prices of the tickets.
Some of these services also sell instant win games, a growing industry in the US. These games are often provided by IWG, a company that makes many of the state-run games in the US. Rhode Island’s new online lottery, for instance, uses the iLottery app and has an extensive lineup of IWG-provided instant wins that overlap heavily with the Pennsylvania collection. This is a common practice for state-run lotteries, and it’s why you should always check the terms of service for each site to see what’s included.