Winning the Lottery: It’s All in the Past

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History of Winning the Lottery

Winning the lottery features a long and ancient history. The phrase “lottery” comes from the Italian “lotto”, meaning fate or destiny. Many lottery games in the English speaking world are referred to as lotto games. How to win the lottery is a world wide question for hundreds, even 1000s of years.

Ancient Lotteries

Lotteries have an ancient, venerable and somewhat checkered history. There are lots of biblical references to the drawing of lots to award ownership and in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 26, Moses runs on the lottery to award land west of the River Jordan. In the New Testament, Roman soldiers drew lots to choose who would get Jesus’cloak following the crucifixion.

In 100 BC, the Hun Dynasty in China created the lottery game referred to as Keno.zemusica  A lot of the funds raised were used to finance the construction of the Great Wall, intended as a perimeter defense. Winning the lottery was less important than defending the country.

Origin of Modern Lotteries

The first recorded European lottery was held in 1446 by the widow of the Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck to get rid of his remaining paintings. Winning this lottery could have given you a prize worth mega millions today!

Encyclopedia Britannica states that the lottery as we realize it dates back again to 15th century France where it was used by individual towns to boost money for strengthening the town’s defenses (Europe features a strong tradition of citizens considering themselves as owned by an area rather than state or even a country, for instance, a resident would consider him or herself as a Roman, as opposed to an Italian.) King Francis I of France allowed lotteries to operate from 1520, and the first municipal lottery to offer money as a prize was La Lotto de Firenze, run by the city of Florence in 1530. Other cities in Italy soon followed suit.

In 1567, Queen Elizabeth I established the first English state lottery, with prizes including cash, gold and silver plate, and tapestries. 400,000 tickets were offered for sale. For a time, just how to win the lottery was a concern on all the citizens’lips.

In 1612, King James I of England created a lottery in London by royal decree. The proceeds helped to finance the first British colony in America at Jamestown, Virginia. Anglican churches held two of the three winning tickets in the first draw!

Winning the Lottery: The First National Lottery

At the center 18th century, a distinctive event occurred in France. Because of the prospect of fixing the outcomes in privately operated lotteries, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (1725 – 1798) persuaded Louis XV of France to found the first state-owned monopoly lottery, the Loterie Royale of the Military School, which became the forerunner of the Loterie Nationale. Other lotteries in France were outlawed. The lottery was a Keno style game, where players could select 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 numbers between 1 and 90. (Incidentally, Casanova owned a pursuit in the new lottery and became wealthy consequently, but sold his interest shortly afterwards and lost the proceeds through unwise investments; sounds exactly like some modern lottery winners, doesn’t it?)

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