Don’t push your luck with online lotteries: Interesting new phenomenon. The article claims they’re rife with legal and ethical problems.
When you buy a ticket from such Web sites, they say they then buy a lottery ticket from a state-licensed retailer and charge a service fee (usually $1 per ticket). The service fee covers, among other things, the holding and monitoring of the lottery ticket.
If you win a small sum, the site mails you a check. If you win the jackpot, arrangements are made for you to pick up the winning ticket and claim your prize, since lottery tickets cannot legally be sent through the mail in the United States.