How to Avoid Lottery Scams


The lottery is a form of gambling in which numbers are randomly drawn. Some governments outlaw the lottery, while others endorse it. Some even organize state or national lotteries. Whatever the case, there are many scams in the lottery industry. To avoid falling victim to them, you need to know some basics before you try your luck at the lottery.


Lotteries have been around for centuries. Many ancient documents mention the practice of drawing lots to determine ownership of land. By the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, lottery-like games had become common throughout Europe. The first lottery to be tied to the United States came in 1612 when King James I of England used the money raised through lottery tickets to help finance the establishment of Jamestown, Virginia. Lotteries were also used by private and public organizations to raise funds for projects such as public works, schools, and wars.

Odds of winning

You have a chance of being killed by a shark one in every 3.7 million times, but your chances of winning the lottery are much less. For instance, you have a 1-in-500 chance of being murdered by a shark if you play the Mega Millions game, but a 1-in-10,000 chance of finding a four-leaf clover. That is pretty improbable.


Lottery scams are advance fee frauds. The fraud starts with an unexpected notification.

Taxes on winnings

In most states, winning the lottery entitles you to a tax return. This tax bill could be up to 50% of the prize. While winning the lottery means no monthly bills, winning an annuity prize will require an annual tax payment. However, donating your prize to charity will allow you to write off some of the tax as an itemized deduction.


The average American spends $800 a year on lottery tickets. Instead of relying on lady luck, consider trying an alternative gambling activity. These games are simple and offer the chance to win anything from a few bucks to over $2 million. They are also free.