Can You Buy Lottery Tickets Online?
Is It Legal (and Safe) to Buy Lottery Tickets Through the Net?
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Every so often, lottery fever sweeps the nation and everyone wants to get their hands on a potentially record-breaking lottery ticket. If buying a ticket is not easy for you for whatever reason, perhaps because you are homebound or not in the country at the moment, buying lottery tickets over the internet seems like a simple solution. Is it possible to buy lottery tickets online? Is it legal? Is it safe?
The Dangers of Buying Tickets Over the Internet
The United States government, like most other governments around the world, heavily regulates how lottery tickets can be bought and sold because the potential for fraud is so high. U.S. citizens alone spend billions of dollars on lottery tickets every year, so it’s important to be sure that the tickets are valid and that the promised prizes are really awarded.
Without these protections, we’d have many more cases where tickets are sold but, when the winning numbers come up, the buyer is out of luck because the ticket was forged and the seller simply pocketed the money. Or where retailers ensure that they are only selling losing tickets to customers.
To counteract these scams, lottery retailers need to be licensed. What they need to do to get a license varies by state, but it’s common that retailers need to have a criminal background check to get a license to ensure that they haven’t been involved in any felonies or illegal gambling schemes, and that they have to post a hefty bond to ensure that their tickets are awarded fairly.
Now, if people can buy lottery tickets online, it opens doors to fly-by-night organizations who can take advantage of customers on a large scale and then disappear overnight when they are caught.
Because of this high risk to consumers, there are laws in the United States and many other jurisdictions that restrict or prohibit online lottery sales. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s totally illegal or impossible within the United States.
What Does U.S. Law Say About Buying and Selling Lottery Tickets Online?
There are two kinds of lottery laws in the United States: federal and state laws.
Federal law is pretty clear that buying or selling lottery tickets by mail is illegal and punishable by fines or jail time. 18 U.S. Code § 1302 states:
“Whoever knowingly deposits in the mail, or sends or delivers by mail. any lottery ticket. any check, draft, bill, money, postal note, or money order, for the purchase of any ticket. shall be fined. or imprisoned not more than two years.”
But the internet has opened up new ways for people to buy tickets remotely. The internet is not covered by the postal code, so can we just move on to state laws?
Not quite. For many years, a federal law that prevented online lottery sales for many years is the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, which states:
“Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both”
However, in December of 2011, the Department of Justice released an opinion that the Federal Wire Act applies specifically to sports betting,
“In a 13-page opinion, dated September 20, 2011, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) concluded that the federal Wire Act’s anti-gambling provisions do not bar states from selling lottery tickets over the Internet because the act’s prohibitions apply only to Internet transmissions that relate to ‘sporting events or contests.'”
This opened the doors to let states consider whether they should offer online sales for their lottery tickets.
States Which Allow Online Lottery Sales
Even with federal law allowing online lottery sales, many states have been reluctant to actually do so. Aside from the risks of fraud, there are also other problems. For example, it’s much harder to ensure that tickets aren’t being sold to people under the legal age to buy tickets. Plus, the states risk sales tax losses from people who go to a convenience store or gas station to buy a lottery ticket and end up making a few other purchases while they are there.
Currently, six states offer legal online lottery purchases:
- New Hampshire
In 2014, Minnesota became the very first state to offer lottery games online; however, a year later, they pulled all of the games and stopped selling lottery tickets online.
Many of the participating states have tight restrictions about ticket sales; for example, only allowing residents to buy tickets online. With offline sales, you need to by physically present, but you don’t have to live in the state or even be a U.S. resident.
Furthermore, most states offer only a few games. Powerball, for example, can only be bought online from Illinois or Georgia, whereas California residents can use a lottery app to have someone buy Powerball tickets for them.
How to Stay Safe While Buying Lottery Tickets Online
If you decide to try your hand at playing the lottery over the internet, make sure you do your due diligence before buying tickets.
Keep in mind that residents of most United States cannot legally buy lottery tickets online. Watch out for websites that seem to let you buy tickets, but which are actually giving you the “opportunity” to bet on the outcome of the lottery draw.
Don’t fall for hype or for promises made by lottery apps and websites. Your safest option is to go through an official state lottery website if one is available to you. Make sure that you know which company you are handing your money over to, and research any website thoroughly before you commit.
Buying lottery tickets online would be convenient, but is it safe and legal? Find out where and how you can buy lottery tickets on the internet.
Best Online Lottery Sites 2020
Lottery’NGo » Best Online Lottery Sites
Liam Wilson Updated on November 25, 2020
Finding a good online lottery site can be a little tricky. There are many scam sites out there. Other platforms may refuse payouts based on strange criteria in order to save money. Customers can be incredibly disadvantaged when it comes to such sites.
With this in mind, it’s best to perform your due diligence when choosing an online lottery site.
The 10 Best Lottery Sites at a Glance:
1.🥇 The Lotter – Best for everyone who is looking to play online lotteries (read more).
2.🥈 Lotto Agent – One of the most reliable and trustworthy lottery agents with PCI compliant & fully regulated (read more).
3.🥉 WinTrillions – Best for players who value entertainment and user experience above all else (read more).
4. MultiLotto – Licensed by eCuracao gaming. Best for players looking to enjoy the best possible experience (read more).
5. LottoSmile – Indians’ choice! Best for players looking for an all-around lottery experience (read more).
6. LottoGo – Perfect for those who want to play lottery syndicates, virtual scratch cards, and more games (read more).
7. Lotto247 – Excellent for those that want to play major lotteries & great support (read more).
8. LottoLand – Best for players who are looking for a twist on standard lottery play (read more).
9. LottoKings – Best for players looking for straightforward payouts without any taxes deducted (read more).
10. Jackpot.com – Best for players who want to get up and running quickly without delay (read more).
How we test & review lottery sites: The following are the 10 best authentic online lottery sites that we found after testing and reviewing customer feedback. We evaluated the sites based on a mixture of reliability, security, lottery offerings, user experience, mobile application availability, payment methods, and customer support.
1. The Lotter
The Lotter is one of the oldest online lottery sites, established all the way back in 2002. With more lotteries than any other site and higher prizes, this takes the obvious first place. It is consistently rated as number one by many online review sites for its reputation, integrity, game variety and ease of use.
On top of this, it offers an excellent mobile application, a huge number of games, multiple payment methods, and fantastic customer support. The only issue with The Lotter is that fees are a little on the steep side, but they have to make money somehow.
GET 20% OFF for your Mega Million and Powerball tickets
Huge number of games Customer friendly platform Trustworthy and reliable Brilliant mobile application
Fees are quite high
2. Lotto Agent
Lotto Agent is a little more recent than the above entries, established in 2012. It operates out of Belize and is one of the most reliable lottery agents. It assigns agents to purchase official lotteries and scans a receipt back to customers. The company is regulated by the Curacao government so it is fully secured.
Additionally, all financial transactions with this company are PCI compliant, the same standard that banking institutions are held to. LottoAgent is also quite cheap with minimal fees. The downside is that the number of games is not huge, and there are no scratchcards or raffles. However, it does offer a huge number of discounts and bonuses. It has also selected the most affordable lotteries, with the biggest prize to entry ratio.
Reliable and trustworthy Multiple discounts and promo codes Excellent value for money
Not a large selection of games available No scratch cards or syndicates
WinTrillions was founded in 2005 and is currently owned by Triangulum N.V. The site is well established, serving over 500,000 customers in 180 countries. The online lottery site has tonnes of promotions and accepts over 32 payment methods for deposit, including Bitcoin. WinTrillions stands out in terms of the variety of games that it offers, with over 20 lotteries and 12 syndicates.
It also provides the typical features associated with a standard lottery site, including SSL encryption, a mobile application, and a return path for spam filtering. The user experience is smooth and the interface is easy to navigate. Unfortunately, WinTrillions falls down in a number of key areas. The subscriptions auto-renew, which can be annoying. The application is only available with IOS, and the platform is a little bit expensive, all things considered.
Good variety of games Accepts large number of payment methods Website available in multiple languages Reliable and trustworthy platform Amazing user experience
Subscription auto-renews A little bit expensive in terms of fees
Multilotto started its journey in 2010, but it was only made available to lottery players in 2012. From that moment, the platform has established itself as a reputable lotto website with a huge selection of games.
Today, Multilotto offers more than 60 lotteries from all over the world. The list includes both major and smaller-scale lotto games, and you can also play scratch cards and slots on the site.
The platform is localized to multiple languages to ensure users from all parts of the world find their way around easily. The interface is intuitive, and you can download iOS and Android apps for free. These apps are great for purchasing tickets on the go as they make the entire experience of using Multilotto more enjoyable.
The website has more than 20 deposit methods, but their availability depends on the location. For most methods, the minimum deposit is €10.
More than 60 lotteries available Free iOS and Android apps for an improved mobile experience Licensed by eCuracao gaming A deposit bonus available for new players
Payment options vary depending on the location No phone number to contact the staff
Players from India can expect special benefits if they use the right bonus code when joining LottoSmile. However, this platform can be a great choice regardless of your location. The website is localized to more than ten languages, which is why it is famous around the world.
LottoSmile is one of the first online lottery ticket providers since the platform was established in 2002. Players can enjoy over 45 lotteries, along with syndicate and bundle play.
It is easy to sign up for an account, and the deposits are instant. That means you can start playing the lottery in minutes. LottoSmile prepared a generous VIP program, as well as discounts and other special offers for loyal players.
The platform is safe and secure but also transparent. Over the years, numerous jackpot winners purchased tickets via LottoSmile. The biggest winner is a woman from Panama who won $30 million on Florida Lotto.
Players from India might expect special discounts More than ten languages available A VIP program and discounts Syndicate and bundle play are both available
The support doesn’t speak all the listed languages No dedicated mobile apps
LottoGo is a platform that you can trust, although it doesn’t come anywhere near perfection. For starters, it has a license from the UK Gambling Commission, and it does everything by the book. You can enjoy more than 15 lotteries at any moment, including popular games like US Powerball and EuroMillions. It is possible to engage in syndicate play with a variety of options available in that area.
The platform offers three payment methods, which cover Skrill, Visa, and MasterCard. Even though the number is low, these are the most popular transaction options on lottery sites. The customer support could be better, but they compensate that with a comprehensive FAQ section. Overall, the platform is not perfect, but there are reasons why you should try it.
Excellent selection of syndicates with major lotteries covered An intuitive interface and attractive graphics design Fantastic mobile support and a free mobile app included Additional game selection, including scratch cards and casino games
Customer support is not that responsive, which requires patience Only several payment methods available
Lotto247’s history goes back to 2004 when this platform was launched. Today, they have a license of the Curacao Gaming Authority and more than ten lotteries available. Each lottery was carefully selected, and all major games like Mega Millions and EuroJackpot are there. You can buy tickets for both regular and special draws, and the entire process shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
You won’t find many websites with customer support as reliable as the one offered by Lotto247. Not only can you use multiple methods to reach them, but agents also speak multiple languages. It is worth commending the design as the website’s interface follows all the latest industry trends. Overall, it might not be as popular as some other online lottery platforms, but Lotto247 is worth checking out.
Attractive website design and simple interface Customer support is fast and reliable A free Powerball voucher on your first deposit More than 15 years of tradition
Not the most generous lottery selection Live chat support only available to registered members
Lottoland was established in 2013, and it quickly established itself as one of the top lottery sites on the market. The biggest jackpot prize given to a player has reached €90 million in 2018. The total rewards given to players have already exceeded €110 million, and the platform guarantees a fast payout.
The unique thing about Lottoland is that it works on a different basis than similar lottery sites. Instead of playing the actual lottery, you bet on the outcome of a session. From the user’s perspective, everything remains the same. That approach could even grant you bigger prizes since the provider offers Special Jackpot boosts and other promotions.
Lottoland offers more than 25 available games, including the most popular lotteries like US Powerball and EuroJackpot. Apart from classic play, you can choose syndicates, bundles, and subscription deals.
The interface is user-friendly and suitable for newbies Attractive bonus structure and tempting promotions It supports mobile gaming on iOS and Android A wide range of lotteries available
Live chat assistance is not open 24/7 A different concept than the standard lottery website
LottoKings is not a new platform, but is actually a rebranded version of CongaLotto, a well recognized brand. Since the rebrand, LottoKings has had 11,446 winners and paid out a total of $1,491,800 in prizes. Like LottoAgent, LottoKings has a Curacao gaming licence for additional regulation and provides solid security. LottoKings is run by Legacy Eight, a company based in Willemstad, Curacao. Legacy Eight is an established gaming company, and it’s also the original company behind WinTrillions.
The disadvantage of this platform is that there is no mobile application and only a small number of supported payment methods. LottoKings is actually a hybrid business model. It can act as a lottery agent, purchasing your tickets. Alternatively, it can act as an online lottery betting service, taking your purchase as a bet on the outcome. Unfortunately, it is at the discretion of LottoKings to take your purchase as a bet on the outcome or as a purchase of the official ticket. There is no mobile application with LottoKings and no physical scan of ticket receipt.
Offers 19 lotteries from Europe, South America, and the USA Highly secure and regulated online lottery service Straightforward payout structure Syndicates and raffles available
Invasive level of information required for signup No mobile application
Jackpot.com is new to the market and is lesser known than the entries above. But don’t write it off just yet, as it has a lot going for it. With this site, you will be paying for a bet on the outcome of physical lotteries, matched by Jackpot.com. An official ticket with the lottery is not purchased. Jackpot.com is very easy to use and opening an account is streamlined and hassle-free. It has plenty of deposit options.
The site was launched in 2016 and is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls with this company. It is hard to withdraw funds and customer support is not responsive in many instances. They also bill for the next months subscription in advance. Many users report that cancelling subscriptions can be difficult.
Easy to deposit Cheap lottery provider Regulated by UK and Malta regulatory authorities Very swift and easy registration process
Dubious subscription tactics New site with less reliability
Best Lottery Sites for the UK Players
Our experts would recommend The Lotter to British players because this platform is secure and offers an extensive selection of games. LottoAgent is another website that has been available in the UK for years. You can also pick WinTrillions, which is a great idea if you like syndicate play.
Best Lottery Sites for Indian Players
If you are playing from India, you cannot go wrong with Lotto Smile. The website specializes on the Indian market, which makes it the best choice for players from this country. You can also try LottoAgent , which offers from various continents.
Best Lottery Sites for the USA? Is There Even Such a Thing?
The law in the United States prohibits lottery sites. We found that the state of Oregon is the only exception to this rule. If you are playing from Oregon, our favorite choice would be The Lotter. It is a safe and reliable platform with a long list of supported games from around the world. As for other states, we can only hope that the regulations will change soon.
Best Lottery Sites That Accept PayPal
Our research showed that not many lottery websites accept PayPal. You will have to search hard to find a site that supports this payment method.
We did the footwork for you and we found that only LottoLand accepts PayPal players.
How to Buy & Play Lottery Online?
Playing an online lottery is quite straightforward, at least in theory. You simply register with a well known and reliable provider, such as the ones listed above. After this, you can deposit funds using a variety of methods. Depending on the site in question, it should be relatively easy to select the lotto that you want to take part in. Most sites will provide at least 15 lotteries from around the world. If you are ever tempted to try the lotto dominators, we recommend you check out if it’s really worthwhile!
It’s worth noting the distinction between lottery agents and lottery betting services. Lottery agents actually buy the tickets and will send you a receipt of purchase. A lottery betting service takes a bet on the outcome of a lotto and pays you the equivalent amount. Remember to read the fine print with every service and to find a provider with excellent support and easy withdrawal options. You should also take care to avoid fake sites.
If you are playing lottery online, it is best to find a provider that suits what you are after, with excellent customer support and no fees. You might also want to investigate some free online tools to assist with planning, budgeting, and project management in general.
A word about Free Lottery Sites
If you are a newbie to the lotto world, you might start by trying free lottery sites. These platforms offer free tickets for lotto sessions. They are convenient to try the game, but the chances of winning a prize are often slim. It’s vital to stick to reliable providers to ensure the lottery is not a scam.
How to Spot Fake Lottery Sites?
Spotting fake lottery sites is easier than you might think. You just need to be a little diligent. The first thing to do is look at the search bar on top. It should have an SSL certificate , which is a little green icon on the top left. This will ensure that the site is legitimate. On top of this, you need to look online for review to assess the trustworthiness of the site.
Even if the site is ’legitimate’, lottery sites can use a number of tactics to avoid payouts. Only go with the very best providers that have been in the market for a long time. It’s also a good idea to check who they are regulated by, how long they have been in operation, and what their track record is.
How to Evaluate a Lottery Site – Ranking Factors
Fake sites aside, there are a number of ways to evaluate a legitimate lottery site. These ranking factors are listed below, and these are the factors we used to figure out the best lottery sites on the market right now. The ranking criteria are:
- Security and regulation
- Variety of games on offer
- Payment options
- Customer service
- Website usability
- Mobile applications
The most important of all is the security protocols and regulation, which is of special relevance in the gambling industry. Next comes the type of games on offer – if the games types that you prefer are not available (syndicates, raffles, specific lotteries, etc), then there is little point in using the service. Other important criteria include cost, payment options, customer service, usability, and whether or not the site has a mobile application.
The Basic Rules for Playing Lottery Online
The same rules for playing lottery online also apply to purchase lottery tickets online. The people who are eligible for a payout will receive the prize once the numbers are correct. In case you grab the jackpot, you can check out how long after winning the lottery you can get the money. There is no point trying to ‘hack’ in if you don’t meet the eligibility criteria. If you do win, then you may need to supply additional verification and will be found out.
Remember to read the terms and conditions for each and every lotto that you enter. There will often be additional criteria depending on what kind of lotto it happens to be. Typically, you might pick 6 numbers and if these numbers show up, you get the jackpot. But there are many variants, such as the Powerball. The prize pool keeps increasing until the pot is won. The basic rules for playing lottery online will typically include:
- You must be 16/18/21 years of age or older to buy Lottery tickets and claim prizes.
- A ticket is void if stolen, unissued, mutilated, illegible, tampered with, or altered in any way, defective or incomplete.
- The Lottery is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets.
- A lottery ticket may be cancelled only if presented before the drawing to the Retailer where it was originally purchased. Powerball tickets cannot be cancelled.
- Multi-drawing bets on the same number(s) may be made in advance for all games.
- You must fill in your name, address, and phone number on the back of your winning ticket before you file a prize claim.
- All winning tickets are subject to validation by the Lottery.
- All winning tickets are bearer instruments.
- All prizes must be claimed within 6 months/one year from the date of purchase.
FAQs Best Lottery Sites
🏅What is the best online lottery site?
You can pick from a long list of reliable online lottery providers, but the best one seems to be The Lotter. It offers a huge selection of games and a beginner-friendly interface, as well as instant deposits and fast withdrawals.
🤔What is the difference between lottery agents and lottery betting?
A lottery agent purchases a ticket on your behalf. In most cases, you get the scanned ticket to your inbox. As for lottery betting, these websites allow you to bet on the outcome of a specific lottery. Although these are two different methods of playing, they don’t affect the player’s experience. Your prizes remain the same regardless of the approach used by your lottery provider.
🤥How can I tell if an online lottery site is legit or a scam?
❓What is a lottery syndicate/group play?
A lottery syndicate is when multiple players join forces to buy lottery tickets to increase their winning odds. When playing online, you join a group of players who agreed to be a part of the syndicate. You don’t get to choose the lottery numbers to play, but the cost per ticket is lower. If you win, you share the winnings with other players that are a part of your syndicate.
🔒Are online lottery sites safe?
Yes, online lottery websites are safe. However, always make sure to stick to the most reputable providers, such as the one we listed. By confirming that the website is reputable and licensed, you confirm that it is safe and secure to use it for purchasing lottery tickets online.
🔓Which lottery site is the most secure?
Lotto Agent is an example of an extremely secure online lottery website. The platform is PCI-compliant, and it follows all the latest laws and industry standards.
Is online lottery legal in India?
The law doesn’t regulate online lotteries, which means you are free to purchase tickets for any lotto game around the world.
🧾Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings from a foreign lottery?
That depends on the laws of your home country. If it has taxes applicable to lottery winnings, you are subject to them as a resident of that country.
🎫Which lottery site has the cheapest tickets?
You can find the cheapest lottery tickets in syndicate play. Many top online lotto sites support syndicates, but WinTrillions stands out from the competition. They offer single and multi-lottery syndicates that can secure you a chance to win prizes for a small investment.
💬Which lottery site has the best customer service?
The Lotter’s customer agents are extremely knowledgeable and always ready to help. The website allows you to contact them via live chat assistance. An agent will be with you in less than 30 seconds, which means your problem will be resolved quickly.
📱Which lottery sites have a mobile app?
Multilotto made sure to do an amazing job with their mobile apps. The applications are free, and they are available for both Android and iOS. Thanks to these apps, you can enjoy an improved experience when purchasing tickets on the go.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Lottery Site
Is the lottery website legitimate?
If the lottery website is fake, then you could lose an awful lot of money. Your personal details might also be compromised if you give them out online.
What kind of lotteries are offered?
There are many different kinds of lotteries and tips on how to win the lottery available. Be sure the one you need is listed. Syndicates are a popular option for increasing your chances of winning, but not all lottery sites provide this function.
How long has the company been in business?
Newer businesses are not as trustworthy, but this applies even more in the lottery industry. As a general rule of thumb, the older the better. Newer businesses might also be finding their feet in terms of customer support, payment options, and the payout infrastructure.
What payment methods are available with this platform?
Some platforms only provide a limited number of payment options that can make both deposits and withdrawal tricky.
How is the customer service?
An online lottery site needs to have a swift and able customer service team to handle any disputes that occur. Gambling sites can be notorious for delaying payments and for a failure to respond to queries, in the hopes that the funds will be left alone.
How easy is it to setup an account?
Some sites require an onerous amount of documentation to get started. Make sure there is no hassle in the registration and account setup process.
How are lottery tickets handled on this site?
As mentioned above, some sites will buy an official ticket. Other sites might allow you to make a bet on a particular outcome of an official lottery, acting as a proxy. Make sure you get a scanned copy of the lottery ticket where possible.
Does the lottery site offer a mobile platform?
Mobile platforms are increasingly popular. If you will be playing frequently, double-check that a mobile application is available. This can also make withdrawals and deposits easier.
The Biggest Online Lottery Winners
There have been some massive online lottery winners, though the identities of such persons are rarely disclosed. One such undisclosed person was an Iraqi citizen who won $6.4 Million in the Oregon lottery in December 2015. Jenn Burston in the UK won over £4 Million in the UK National Lottery.
It does not matter where you are from, as you can play in a lottery from a different country once you meet the eligibility requirements. Matt Topham and Cassey Carrington won €55,000,000 playing EuroMillions online from the UK, both of them in their early twenties.
A Word On Online Lottery Betting
Online betting can be fun and is a good way to pass the time. But it can also be addictive and dangerous. There are many hacks and scams. In addition, many outlets prey on the vulnerable with dubious marketing tactics. One couple won
Be very wary where you play and only use the most reputable sites to avoid getting caught. Be careful with your budget and make sure that it does not get out of hand. Always ensure you have enough working capital to provide for your basic needs. Regardless of technique or strategy, the winners far outnumber the losers across all platforms and lottery games.
Biggest Lottery Platforms Now Online
It is now possible to get all of the major lotteries through online lenders. The US Powerball is one of the biggest, with record prizes of $1.5 Billion paid out in January 2016. This is the biggest jackpot in the history of US Powerball and this game is available with many of the largest online lottery sites. The EuroMillions can reach up to 200 million euros and the EuroJackpot reaches up to 90 Million Euros. All of these huge cash prizes are available through online lotteries. Other notable games include the MegaMillions Lotto and the SuperEnaLotto.
You are certainly not short of options when it comes to online lottery sites. The 6 above are among the best in the sense of trustworthiness and reliability. Aside from Jackpot.com, they have been around for a long time with strong track records.
Always gamble responsibly and never risk more than you can afford to lose.
Finding a good online lottery site can be a little tricky, there are many scam sites out there. At Lottery 'n Go we reviewed the best lottery sites only. Enjoy our research!