Whether you’re on a tight budget or you just want a little extra cash, playing the lottery can be a great way to add a little extra to your bank account. However, there are a few things you should know before you go out and buy that lottery ticket.

First recorded signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty

Among the earliest signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty (205-187 BC). These slips were believed to have helped finance major government projects, such as the construction of the Great Wall of China.

There are many origin stories for lottery games. Some claim the game originated from comic book heroes, or from casino games. Others say it was introduced as a way to extract money from the public. Regardless of the origin story, lottery games have existed for centuries.

Multistate lotteries have different odds

Depending on the lottery system you are playing, the odds of winning are either in your favor or soar into the stratosphere. In the first scenario, you are lucky to win half a million dollars while in the second case, you could walk away with millions of dollars. Despite the competition, the best games are a dime a dozen. To help reduce the sting, some states have a lottery fee of a few cents while others have no fee at all.

People with low incomes don’t play the lotto

Despite the popularity of lotteries in the US, many people with low incomes don’t play the lottery. The most common reason is simply that they don’t have the money. However, it’s important to realize that not all low-income people are poor. Some people are just a few bucks short of a decent living. If you can afford it, it’s a good idea to put aside some money for a rainy day.

One way to encourage lottery play is to make the odds of winning large enough to make a real difference in your pocketbook. The jackpot prize funds are also used to provide services to the public.

Winnings in the U.S. are not necessarily paid out in a lump sum

Depending on your financial circumstances, you may choose to accept your winnings as a lump sum payment or as an annuity. Both payment methods are taxed at current rates.

A lump sum payment is the most popular method for big prize winners. This is because it gives you the opportunity to spend the money as you see fit. Taking a lump sum also protects you from future tax increases. However, it does come with a price.