Virginia’s Online Lottery


There is a long history of lotteries in Europe. During the 17th century, they were popular in the Low Countries. They raised money for public projects such as fortifications, roads, and libraries. These games were also popular because they were a relatively painless form of taxation. In fact, the oldest continuously running lottery is in the Netherlands, at Staatsloterij. The word lottery comes from the Dutch noun meaning “fate.”

In the US, lottery money is split four ways: some goes to prize payouts and state programs, others go to retailers in the form of commissions, and the rest goes to operations and expenses. There is no retailer commission for online lottery sales. That means more of the money goes to the government and other necessary expenses, while less goes to lottery enthusiasts. And because the United States lottery has a relatively short history, it is more popular than its international counterparts.

Virginia’s online lottery launch coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic, Virginia legislators approved the lottery’s online platform before the virus hit the state. The bill was signed by Gov. Ralph Northam in March 2020. Meanwhile, casinos around the country were forced to close just one week before the lottery began. As a result, Virginia’s online lottery was launched in January 2021. So, there’s always a chance that you could be the next millionaire!