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Maryland and New Hampshire Don’t Have a Lottery

A lottery is a gambling game in which players pay money for a chance to win a prize, such as a large sum of money. Typically, a percentage of the pool goes toward costs of organizing and marketing, plus profits for the state or sponsors. The remainder is available for prizes. It is considered a form of gambling because the odds of winning are slim (statistically, you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than winning the Mega Millions). The lottery can also be used in decision making, such as filling a position on a sports team or placing students in schools and universities.

In the United States, where many religious groups oppose gambling, lottery money has been used to finance churches, schools, canals, and other public projects. It was a critical component of the early colonies’ efforts to raise funds without imposing taxes on their citizens. It also financed some of the first university buildings in the country, including parts of Columbia and Princeton.

In fact, the only six states that do not operate lotteries are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Utah, and Nevada (which is home to Las Vegas). It’s easy to understand why those states don’t want a competing entity taking a slice of their gambling revenue. However, it isn’t so clear why Maryland and New Hampshire do not run lotteries. In Maryland’s case, a lack of interest has been expressed by the state’s residents.