History of the Lottery


Typically, a lottery is run by a state or city government. In a modern lottery, computers generate a random series of numbers. A bettor picks a set of numbers and buys a ticket. After the numbers are drawn, the bettor is informed if he has won.

Lotteries have been around since the 1500s. In the Netherlands, lotteries were common during the 17th century.

Many American colonies held lotteries during the French and Indian Wars. They provided funds for college building, town fortifications, and roads. Lotteries were also used to finance canals and libraries. They were a tax alternative, and in some cases, were tolerated.

Lotteries were also used to raise money for poor people in the Netherlands. Some Roman emperors used lotteries to give away property and slaves.

Lotteries were also used to fund college buildings and libraries. Some states have joined together to form multi-state lotteries. These lotteries require games with huge prize purses, and large odds against winning.

The first known European lotteries were distributed by wealthy noblemen during Saturnalian revels. The first state-sponsored lotteries were held in the cities of Flanders in the first half of the 15th century.

A French lottery was organized by King Francis I in the 15th century. The lottery was called the Loterie Royale. It was authorized by an edict of Chateaurenard, and tickets were expensive. The lottery was eventually abolished in 1836.

Lotteries were also used to finance canals, bridges, and libraries. In many towns, public lotteries were held to raise funds for poor people.