Lottery Though the Ages

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By: Ariel

The Great Wall of China is one of mankind’s greatest achievements and its history is closely tied into that of the first lottery. In the 2nd century B.C.E. the ruling Han Dynasty of China started to build the Great Wall of China to protect the country from northern invaders. Upon realizing that this would be a costly project, the Han Dynasty created a public lottery to help finance the major project.

Later in the Roman Empire, wealthy families would hold lotteries as a game or a gimmick during parties. All of the guests who entered the party would receive a lottery ticket and prized would be drawn to entertain the guests. While they often offered luxurious prizes all party goers were assured of winning something.

The Dutch were the first Europeans to implement a monetary prize only lottery and base prizes on odds. The first Dutch lottery offered small prizes but very good odds as one in four people won. The lottery proved to be very accepted, and was hailed as a painless way to collect taxes or raise money for government. In the Netherlands the lottery was used to raise money to support poor people, build dikes, and to construct defense fortifications. The English word lottery stems from the Dutch word loterij, which is derived from the Dutch noun lot meaning fate. The Dutch National Lottery is the oldest still existing lottery.

In the United States the lottery has existed in the private form since the early 1880’s. In fact many of the technological and mathematical advances in the lottery came from this period when all of the lotteries were privately run. Competing companies were constantly trying to patent their innovations to gain an advantage over their competitors. The first state lottery was started by New Hampshire in 1964. In 1988 the Multi-State Lottery Association was formed with 7 original members to create the Powerball Lottery. Today there are Lotteries in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

The future of the lottery is very bright. Today there are online lottery games and ways to purchase lottery tickets online. The internet is allowing players to play lotteries from anywhere in the world. One of the most complete lottery sites today is which offers the odds and information about lotteries from all over the world.

About the Author

Ariel is a writer for To learn more about lottery games, please visit

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Article Source: - Lottery Though the Ages

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