The official lottery:

State lotteries are run as businesses, with every incentive to entice people to play. They tell voters they are raising money for schools or whatever, and that’s true — but it obscures how much gambling they do. Lotteries are a major source of revenue for states, but they’re not subject to the kind of scrutiny that other government enterprises are.

They’re in a unique position to take advantage of people who aren’t familiar with how government works, or what the rules are. That’s why so many scammers pretend to be from the government, or make up fake names like the “National Sweepstakes Bureau.” They also use official-sounding language and logos, which makes them seem trustworthy.

There’s a big difference between knowing how the government works, and having the experience to recognize the signs of a scam. Here are a few tips to help you keep yourself safe.

An employee of the Commission, or an immediate family member of such an employee, may not hold a retail lottery store license, sell or otherwise purchase a lottery ticket, or have any other financial interest in a lottery retailer with whom the Commission has a contract for its lottery services. Exceptions may be granted by the Commission for good cause. If you have any questions, please contact the Lottery’s Corporate Communications Office.