The official lottery, also known as the DV Lottery, is the congressionally mandated process for awarding Green Cards to 55,000 people each year from countries that historically have been underrepresented in US immigration. These include people from Mexico, China and the Philippines.
There are a number of requirements that lotteries must meet to be legally operated, including:
First, they must be able to record the identities of the bettors, their stakes and the numbers on which they bet. These details are usually recorded on tickets, although many modern lotteries use computer systems to do this, as well.
Second, they must be able to collect and pool all the money placed as stakes. This is often done by a hierarchy of sales agents who pass money paid for tickets up through the organization until it is “banked.”
Third, they must be able to offer prizes that are at least a small percentage of the total amount available in the pool. This allows the lottery to keep its costs down while still offering a reasonable chance for a better to win a large prize.
Fourth, they must be able to provide an independent audit of the drawing results and pay outs. This is normally done by an external accounting firm.
Fifth, they must be able to provide high resolution scans of the physical ticket. This ensures that tickets are not counterfeited or simulated.
The lottery is appealing to vulnerable people, particularly those who may be struggling in the traditional economy, according to Jonathan Cohen, author of “For a Dollar and a Dream.” However, it is exposing them to commercialized gambling and predatory practices.