Have you ever thought about where the lottery actually started? With so many millions of people playing some form of the lottery in countries, cities, and states throughout the world, it’s definitely worth it to understand at least a little bit of lottery history. And what you may be surprised to know is that the lottery has been around for a whole lot longer than anyone may have guessed. In fact, research seems to suggest that lotto history actually starts somewhere around 205 BC, with the Chinese Han Dynasty and it’s continued throughout our known world from then until the present day.
The origin of the lottery
Back in those early days, starting with the Han Dynasty, the research seems to suggest that lotteries were the way that the government actually founded a range of different projects. They would sell these slips, similar to keno slips, and use the money to fund the Great Wall of China (or at least, that’s what historians and researchers believe). The only reason we know for sure that these systems existed at all is because of The Book of Songs, an ancient Chinese text from approximately the 2nd millennium BC, which dictates the playing of a specific form of chance, which they refer to as drawing of wood and sounds very similar to what we would consider a modern form of lottery.
Moving on down the line, lottery history continued to be made as the game was introduced into the Roman Empire as well. In this version of the game, there were prizes rather than money, but the prizes could be any number of different items. The difference in this version of the game was that every person who had a ticket would win something, and the tickets were given out to the guests of dinner parties. What’s different about this, however, is that it was only slightly randomized and since everyone won, it wasn’t quite what we recognize as the lottery today. That came later.
In fact, it was Augustus Caesar who first started the sale of lottery tickets within the Roman Empire. Once again, the price paid for these tickets was used to fund different government projects. For example, Caesar used the money to fund repairs for Rome. Unlike the previous method of lottery used for dinner parties, this type of lottery offered gifts and prizes only to winners. Also, the gifts were generally not as good as they were in earlier versions.
Improving the lottery system
It wasn’t until approximately the 15th century that the lottery as we know it today started to come into existence. The place was in the region now known as the Netherlands but previously referred to as “Low Country”. In this area, lottery tickets were sold and when the winners were drawn they were given prizes of money rather than material goods. Once again, the money raised from these lotteries was used to improve the town, including helping the poor and building different types of defenses within the town. Still, there have been records to indicate that the first lotteries may have happened prior to this, also with monetary offerings and money being used to support the community.
It was near this time that the lottery began in Milan as well. Once again, it was used for public funding, including funding the war against the Republic of Venice. Though it was successful, it wasn’t as popular in Milan as it became in Genoa. That’s where lotto history really started to be made. People would bet on just about anything, including who was going to be drawn as members of the great council. But that drawing was only held twice each year and people wanted to be able to play even more frequently. It was here, around the 1500s, that the modern lotto, using drawings of numbers, was actually first created.
As time went on, in the 17th century, the Netherlands began to use lotteries not for helping the community in a direct sense, but as a way to collect money in the form of taxes. People were enthralled with the idea of the lotteries and, as a result, they began to be more and more popular. This made it easier for communities to use these as a way of collecting taxes without the people even seeming to care or perhaps even realize it.
Lottery around the world
Throughout the 1500s and into the 1900s, the lottery began to make its way around the world. It started in France, where King Francis I decided to replicate the lotteries he’d seen during his campaign in Italy. The idea was to fund the state finances but the idea was a colossal failure as the tickets were far too expensive for the average person and those who could afford them did not believe in the idea. As a result, the lottery actually became forbidden throughout France for several centuries.
England was the next country to attempt the lottery in a more modern sense, under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The idea was to strengthen the realm and each individual who purchased a ticket was guaranteed to get a prize equal to the amount of money that was spent. Instead of having instant drawings and instant winners, however, this form of the lottery was similar to our modern-day treasury bonds. People were able to purchase the tickets and then would receive their prize in three years’ time. The government would take the money, in the meantime, as a sort of loan to do what they wanted with. It also created a system of stocks for the first time, that would go on to become closer to our modern stock market.
In the United States, it was approximately 1612 when King James I offered the lottery to the American colonists. These lotteries, approximately 200 according to the records we do have, helped to create the infrastructure of the new colonies and even helped to finance Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania. From then on, our history and lotto history were intertwined, with money being used to help the militia through the French and Indian wars and even helping to fund an expedition going against Canada.
Many people actually founded lotteries in those times, with even Benjamin Franklin organizing one that would help to defend Philadelphia. In some cities and areas of the country, there were lotteries for just about anything and some would award cash prizes while others offered prizes in the form of items. These lotteries were actually very popular and became even more popular when there were bigger and bigger prizes to be had (which we can definitely see evidence of in our modern lotteries as well).
Spain was one of the last areas to implement the lottery, with its first games in approximately 1763. Since then, however, it’s actually become a sort of tradition to play in Spain and it’s mostly about the Christmas lottery. In fact, nearly everyone wants to play the Christmas lottery and it’s become the second-longest lottery that’s continuously run anywhere in the world. That’s definitely a feat in and of itself, especially when you consider that the lottery even continued through the Spanish Civil War.
Other countries, such as Australia, Canada, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Mexico, started lottery systems sometime after this, with most beginning in the late 1800s. The games were used to help raise funds for causes such as the veterans, as well as helping with different war efforts. Overall, the funds were raised by the government and used for a variety of different projects. Still, some countries actually banned the practice for different periods of time or made it illegal to play any but the state-sponsored versions of the game. As a result, it ended in a sort of monopoly that many countries still hold over lottery history.
Changing lottery history
The more modern versions of the lottery, such as the United States’ most popular games, the Powerball and the Mega Millions, didn’t come around until quite some time after this. Started in 1992, the Powerball can be played in a total of 21 different states as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The minimum jackpot is $40 million, while the largest recorded win within the game is over $1.5 billion. That also makes it the largest jackpot in lottery history throughout the world, and it was won by a total of only three people.
When it comes to the Mega Millions, it was actually started after the Powerball and was originally known as The Big Game. The Big Game was founded in 1996, and its name changed to The Big Game Mega Millions in 2002. From there, it became known simply as “Mega Millions” and it became one of the most popular games throughout the country. In all, 44 different states are able to play this game, including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which puts it in twice as many locations as the Powerball. The largest jackpot ever won here was also just over $1.5 billion, but slightly less than the largest Powerball jackpot.
The modern lottery
Today, however, things are changing around the world when it comes to the lottery. No longer are we bound by the confines of a city, a state, or even a country. In fact, with the huge leaps and bounds that are happening with the internet, there’s nothing stopping us from playing the lottery entirely online and creating an entirely different market. After all, when you can reach the lottery in countries halfway around the world you’re going to have all new opportunities and experiences.
Online lottery started with illegal forms of betting that happened in regards to just about anything (though people were doing this in their own hometowns long before they were doing it online). Over the last decade, however, it’s started to change in major ways and new, legal forms of the online lottery are starting to evolve. These newer forms are offering people around the world the chance to engage in some of the best games going on anywhere in the world.
If you’re interested in being part of lotto history, this is definitely the way to do it. Our online service actually offers the opportunity to order tickets for nearly any game that you want to play. You just get online, pick the game you want to be a part of, and purchase your tickets. That’s it. Then, if you win, you can claim your prize. It’s always fun being able to participate in different lottery games, but when you can actually play these games without having to be in the physical location? That makes your chances of winning a jackpot even higher.
If you’ve been watching some of the big jackpots around the world and wishing that you could be part of the process and part of the fun, this is definitely your opportunity. Lottery history is being made in big ways with these online services, and it’s definitely going to be the wave of the future for people to keep looking for newer, bigger, and better ways to try and win the jackpot. While our history got us interested in the lottery early on, we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of what we can actually do with these types of systems. Just get your ticket from our website.
Have you been interested in lotto history and never understood where it came from? Well, the lottery definitely has had a long history and it’s one that’s interesting, but still being written. There’s no telling when and where this process is actually going to end, but what we do know is that it’s becoming far more exciting than it ever was before. It might have been interesting to be a part of the original versions of the game, where there was a win for every person playing, but now, we have the opportunity to win the big jackpots, and that creates an even better experience for people around the world.
And the next step in the evolution of the lottery is just around the corner. Plans for a global lottery with huge jackpots are already being worked on. The draws will be embedded in spectacular, game show type global TV events. There will most probably also be a charity aspect, where the global audience will choose from a number of humanitarian projects for which a good portion of the lottery proceeds could be used.