Lotteries are a part of life for many different countries around the world. These are often run through national or state governments, and they are a great way to fund a variety of projects. What you might not know is that lotteries are much older than you might imagine. Let’s explore some of the rich history of lotteries.
The oldest records that we have of lotteries comes from the Chinese Han dynasty, and appear in roughly 205 and 187 BC. It is thought that some of these lotteries were used to raise funds for the Great Wall of China – a common motif that you will find across many lotteries in history and the modern day.
The first European lotteries can be traced back to the Roman era, where they were considered to be a dinner party entertainment. They were also frequently found during Saturnalia revelries, where wealthy families used them to distribute presents to their household staff.
In the medieval period, they also began to appear in countries like the Netherlands and Belgium. This is where we actually take the idea of drawing “lots”, as this comes from the Dutch word for fate.
Growing Alongside Other Forms of Betting
As betting grew in popularity in the 18th century, many of the lotteries that you can still play nowadays were established in their various countries. Though you can now play online roulette and other games in many different locations, this used to be far more limited.
Some countries, such as Spain, has offered a big lottery at Christmas. El Gordo, as the main prize is known, is thought to be one of the biggest in the world. As lotteries have gained in popularity, it is not uncommon to find betting sites offering tickets and information about lotteries in different locations.
A Community Affair
Though the big national lotteries are often the main focus of this subject. There are often plenty of smaller lotteries that communities can participate in. Some great examples of this can be found in the USA. Nowadays, more or less every state in the USA has their own lottery. This is often used to provide scholarships and education initiatives within the state, in addition to funding infrastructure projects.
However, lotteries in the US go back a lot further. Many local communities used them to raise finances to build libraries and other civic buildings, and even helped to fund famous institutions like Harvard and Yale. They acted as great way to bring communities together for a common purpose.
Lotteries have been a part of our lives for much longer than you might have ever thought. The UK National Lottery has even won 15 Oscars and 100 BAFTAs through their financing of films. With so many countries running some form of lottery, there are plenty of options when it comes to using the money that is raised from lotteries. From buildings to projects, they have helped to create some great things in their lifetimes.