Who Created the Lottery and Why?

Lottery is one of the gambling games that are known globally, due to its easy accessibility and lucrative prizes. It is a type of gambling that involves a huge amount of prizes that can be won by anyone who bought a ticket.

In other parts of the world, casino games such as slots and poker are illegal, to serve as an alternative, the governments of these nations permit alternative gambling activities such as horse race betting and 4D lottery.  

In this piece, we will provide you with details about the origins of the lottery and its status in modern society.

Early lottery games

The word lottery itself came from a Dutch word lot, which means fate or destiny. Some ancient traditions worship deities that draw lots to determine the fate of mankind. 

The origin of the gambling activity itself came from the ancient civilizations of China and Rome. Both societies have some early form of lotteries but each has its own purpose on why they are doing it.

In Ancient China, the first lottery was played in 205 to 187 BC, and it has more resemblance to keno games. The emperor of the Han dynasty used the revenue from the lottery games to finance huge infrastructure projects such as the legendary Great Wall of China. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the emperor of the Ancient Romans conducted lottery games for the citizens to give them a chance to win items from their latest conquests. The earnings from the lottery games were also used to pay for public construction projects such as roads and aqueducts. 

By the 15th century, the lottery was spread throughout Europe and became a national pastime. In a city in Italy, a council of government officials used a lottery to select their members. The names of each candidate were replaced with numbers and this is where the numbers drawn in the lottery were born. 

Lottery becomes global

In 1556, a private lottery was conducted by Queen Elizabeth I in England as a form of charity to raise funds for settlements in America. The British National Lottery was played for 250 years, but was shut down in 1826 due to pressure by the Parliament.

The lottery also made its way in America when the British settlers first colonized the East Coast. The first lottery draw in America was used to finance a charity to raise funds for the construction of schools and hospitals. 

Modern lotteries

Today, lotteries are being played all over the world, and each continent has nations with state lotteries. The prizes for some of these lotteries even reach the million mark, this is why winning a lottery is very lucrative.

The most popular lottery game is the Mega Million Lottery with its prize pool raised for up to 300 million. Even though the chances of winning this lottery is one in a million, it is still being played by many people.

Online lotteries 

Due to the growing innovations in technologies throughout the years, some lotteries have made their way online. Although, in crowded cities like Singapore, elderly people congregate at betting parlors to watch the winning combination in the latest draw and also to socialize with other seniors.

In Singapore, other forms of gambling are prohibited, but the government has made state lottery and horserace betting as an alternative. Singapore Pools is an online betting site owned by the government that offers a variety of lottery games such as Toto, 4D and Singapore Lottery. 


The gambling form of lottery has come a long way from its ancient origins. However, the main purpose of the game remains throughout the course of history. This purpose is to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to many people to have their lives changed. 


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