The History of the Lottery

The history of the lottery varies from country to country, but the origins are similar across all countries. Lotteries were first introduced in France in the 1500s by Francis I, and the game gained popularity throughout the world. The popularity of the game lasted into the seventeenth century when Louis XIV won the top prizes in a drawing. He gave back his winnings for redistribution, and the lottery was eventually abolished in 1836. In 1933, a new lottery was created and reopened as the Loterie Nationale. After World War II, a new lottery was launched in France, and in 2005, the lottery was introduced in Italy.


Lotteries first appeared in ancient China. According to legend, Chinese rulers used lottery slips to fund large government projects. The game of chance is also mentioned in the Chinese Book of Songs, where it was referred to as “drawing wood or lots.”

Origins in France

Lotteries are commonly government-sponsored alternatives to illicit games. The participants match a sequence of numbers or symbols with a prize. While lotteries date back to ancient times, they first gained popularity in the sixteenth century, when King James I of England devised a lottery to provide funds for the Jamestown, Virginia settlement. Lotteries were later used by public and private organizations to fund wars, courthouses, and other public-works projects.

Origins in eight states

The history of lotteries dates back to the 1760s, when George Washington conducted a lottery to help pay for the Mountain Road in Virginia. Benjamin Franklin, who was an advocate of the lottery, supported its use to buy cannons during the Revolutionary War. In Boston, John Hancock used the money raised by the lottery to help rebuild Faneuil Hall. According to the 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission report, most colonial lotteries were unsuccessful.

Number of people playing

Statistics show that a small number of people are responsible for most of the sales in the lottery industry. As business school professors often tell their students, 80% of a company’s sales are generated by its top 20% customers. One Minnesota study found that 20% of lottery players accounted for 71% of its revenue, while a similar study in Arizona revealed that 24% of lottery players accounted for 70% of its spending. And so it goes on to say, the number of people playing the lottery isn’t really that large.

Taxes on winnings

There are many different rules and regulations regarding the taxes you need to pay when you win the lottery. In the U.S., winnings from lotteries and sweepstakes are taxed as ordinary income. In addition, state governments sometimes have their own rules and regulations regarding winnings, so be sure to check with your state tax office before making any major investments. Taxes on lottery winnings are quite high, but they are worth considering as part of your overall financial planning.