To participate in a lottery, one only needs to purchase a lottery ticket. Many states offer their own lottery, and some states offer lotteries for multiple states. While I do not play the lottery myself (I prefer scratch-offs), playing the lottery is simple. Lotteries use different number combinations. Some use pick three, four, or five. Others have as many as six or seven numbers. Many pay out for as little as two matches out of six.
To play, one must know how many numbers they need to pick (or one can allow the machine to pick random numbers for him or her). Once the numbers are chosen, one must fill out a paper stating the numbers he or she wishes to play. The ticker seller will punch in the numbers and a ticket will be processed. After, one only needs to wait for the drawing to see if he or she has won. Tickets, up to a certain amount, can be redeemed at any payment center. Some winnings need to be collected at the local lottery office only.