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The lottery of the future: what will it look like?

What will the U.S. Lottery look like in 10 years?

The lottery of the future: what will it look like?

Advances in technology have paved the way for changes in American lottery games, making them more accessible, safer, and more fun to play.

The lottery is so popular in 2024 that it's highly likely that it will still be around ten years from now. But how will technology change the game that millions of Americans play every week? Will it become easier or harder to win, and will the prizes still be cash or some other form of future currency? Let's take a look at how the lottery might change over the next couple of decades.

Ease of use: advanced digital integration

Although more people currently buy their lottery tickets at their local lottery retailer than online, in the future, this is likely to change for the following reasons:

  • The convenience factor: It becomes increasingly easy to buy lottery tickets and games online.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Players can purchase games wherever they are, even outside of retail hours.
  • Everything at your fingertips: All lottery games are offered for purchase and play online.
  • A new generation: There is an influx of younger players who prefer to purchase and play on their mobile devices.
  • An expansion of choices: More digital games are available than ever before.
  • No need to check tickets: Players get automatic alerts telling them if they have won.
  • Mobile chasing: Player's winnings are automatically added to their online account, from where the money can be transferred to their bank account or used to purchase more games.

Customized play: the use of recommendation systems

A recommendation system is a form of AI that learns how to predict, narrow down, and locate what consumers are looking for based on their previous searches and purchases. Though you may not be aware of it, you often use recommendation systems online. For example, when Netflix suggests movies you may like, or Amazon recommends offers based on your past purchases.

Recommendation systems in the lottery realm could help players find games that they will enjoy based on those they have already played. For example, if you like playing digital instant win games with a crossword theme, your lottery app could pull up a list of all the available games in that category. It could also alert you as soon as similar games are released. Collecting player information in this way could also help lottery companies develop customized games.

Expanding through the metaverse: a virtual lottery

Virtual reality headsets such as Oculus and VIVE are becoming increasingly popular for activities such as immersive gaming, virtual travel, language learning, and social networking. Imagine a future where you can play the lottery in a virtual realm. What might this look like? Perhaps in the future, you could put on your VR headset and attend a virtual lottery drawing with thousands of other players or even have a chance to draw the winning lottery numbers yourself.

Taking VR a step further, how about interactive virtual lottery games where you could become completely immersed? For example, suppose your favorite digital lottery game involved finding pots of prize money in a dragon's den. In a virtual reality version of this game, instead of just scratching off sections of the game card, you could be fighting the dragon for its pot of gold.

Bringing fairness to the forefront: a blockchain lottery

A blockchain is a digital record of monetary transactions that is public and decentralized. This means that it is spread across a chain of computer systems so that it cannot be retroactively altered without the alteration of every block in the chain and the agreement of the complete network.

The concept of a blockchain lottery embraces several key features:

  • A publicly distributed ledger: When data is synchronized this way, it can be shared globally. This would allow everyone within the network to access the whole system. Any changes made are visible to everyone. This type of open system is designed to prevent data tampering and would make a lottery system completely transparent.
  • Hash encryption: Each user has a public and private key so they can access the entire account and keep their personal information safe. Rigid encryption codes are set in place to prevent other users or people outside the blockchain network from hacking the system and stealing personal information.
  • Non-expiring tickets: Unlike today's traditional lotteries, blockchain lotteries use non-expiring tickets. This means that if you have a non-winning ticket in one game, it can still be entered in future draws.
  • User-friendly platform: All players can access the lottery system using a website or app. The system is geared towards secure smart device access and has the potential for global access.
  • Administrative control: All access to the blockchain lottery system is managed by the administrators governing the lottery. They will integrate smart contracts with agreed lottery rules and criteria to ensure fairness and honesty. A smart contract is a digital contract that is stored on a blockchain and automatically activated when its predetermined conditions are met. For example, if you want to wager $2 on a lottery ticket, the smart contract will see that you get the ticket with the right prizes and odds for that wager.
  • Fluid currency: Players purchase tickets using Bitcoins or other forms of cryptocurrency, enabling them to remain anonymous. Because all financial activities are recorded in a public ledger, it's easy to track down information and settle any disputes.
  • Enhancing randomness: With a blockchain random number generator, information about recent transactions is used to produce winning numbers. The unpredictability of the blockchain's digital ledger adds an extra layer of randomness to the selection process.
  • Open transaction records: Because all the transaction records are accessible to every member of the network, anyone can look at any win in the history of the blockchain lottery system and see who won the prize and if the profits and fees met the terms of the smart contract.
  • Availability: Lotteries are not legal in all countries, which prevents global participation. Because a blockchain lottery is, by nature, decentralized, this problem is mitigated. Most countries impose no restrictions on the use of cryptocurrencies, and you can join a blockchain network from anywhere in the world. Perhaps blockchain and cryptocurrency could lead to a future global lottery.

Cryptocurrency explained

A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that is an alternative to traditional forms of payment. You may have heard of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Litecoin. Cryptocurrencies are created using encryption algorithms that enable them to function simultaneously as a currency and an accounting system.

To use cryptocurrencies, you need a cryptocurrency wallet. This is a software program that stores your cryptocurrency keys, confirms your identity, and lets you access your coins whenever you need them. You can use cryptocurrencies to make payments through the online system. These currencies are not legislated and have no intrinsic value other than what people are willing to pay for them within the market.

A crypto lottery would resemble a traditional lottery. In both cases, you purchase a lottery ticket with a valid serial number. Winning numbers are randomly generated. The main difference is that you would pay for your ticket using cryptocurrency, and your prize would be paid in the same cryptocurrency.

Blockchain lotteries that exist today

The following blockchain lotteries are currently in operation:

Bitcoin Lotto: This is a Bitcoin-based lottery that is based on Spain's Bonoloto. Bitcoin Lotto offers a top-tier prize of 60 Bitcoins and a second-tier prize of 1 Bitcoin, with a total of six prize tiers. Winners have the option to receive their prize in Bitcoin or a cash equivalent. To play, you must select six numbers between 1 and 49. Each ticket costs around €3.50 ($3.79) but is subject to change based on the value of Bitcoin at the time of the drawing.

Bitcoin Lottery: This lottery is available across multiple crypto networks, including Base, Ethereum, Polygon, Binance, and Optimism. The platform offers four raffle games: 20-player, 10-player, 5-player, and 2-player. Each has different probabilities and price points. To play, you need to purchase $MATIC tokens. All prizes are deposited to the dashboard, from where players can transfer their winnings to their wallets.

Blockchain cryptocurrency lotteries are still in their early stages and have yet to garner a significant player pool. However, this is just the dawn of the merger of AI and machine learning with current lottery technology. The lottery of the future may look very different from the lottery we play today.