The History of the Lottery


The lottery has a rich history. It began in the 1600s with the first lottery held in France. In this country, lots of people gathered together to participate in the game. The first lotteries were held in Rome. This popular game had fixed prizes, such as gold coins or silver bullion. Later, it was used by Roman emperors to give away property and slaves. In ancient Greece, a lotto game called the “apophoreta” was an important part of the dinner entertainment, and today it is still the most famous form of lotto.

In the 15th century, the first recorded lotteries were held in Burgundy and Flanders. The goal was to raise money for the poor and for defense. French king Francis I allowed lotteries in some cities between 1520 and 1539. In Italy, the city-state of Modena held the first public lottery, which involved tickets with cash prizes. The prize was 4,304 florins, equivalent to about US$170,000 in 2014!

In 1826, the government outlawed lotteries in favor of gambling. However, in the early 1800s, the lottery was still used by governments to fund major projects. This included building faneuil hall in Boston and a battery of guns in Philadelphia. Despite the risks and uncertainty, the lottery was widely enjoyed and praised by the public. While the government did try to ban it, lottery winnings contributed to the development of the country.