Lottery is a form of gambling that involves drawing numbers at random. Some countries have banned this form of gambling, while others endorse it and organize a national or state lottery. Regardless of the legality of lottery play, the concept of winning millions of dollars is appealing to millions of people. Learn more about the history of lottery by reading the following articles:
History of the Italian National Lottery
The history of the Italian National Lottery goes back almost 400 years. It was first a private affair but was later made a public enterprise in 1643. The lottery began with a table with ninety numbers and weekly draws. These numbers were assigned to young poor girls in Genoa and whoever drew their number received money for her dowry. The lottery soon became popular and spread throughout the Italian peninsula and Venice. The money raised from the lottery was used to improve the city’s lighting and other amenities. In the 17th century, similar lotteries were introduced in the Papal State, Prussia, and Netherlands. In Austria, the game was called “lotto from Genoa.”
The Venetian Republic also had an interest in the lottery and started taxing lottery winners. Prizes were first given in the form of money and later, valuables. Over time, the prizes were often offices or privileges of the Republic. Some prizes were even real estate and rights to collect dues.
Origins of the French National Lottery
The Origins of the French National Lottery date back to the early eighteenth century. In January 1757, Joseph Paris-Duverney, the King’s finance minister, was looking for ways to fund his military school. A dinner party at which he met Boullongne, the Controller General, turned up the possibility of a lottery. The idea was initially met with skepticism by some members of the King’s Council. However, he eventually decided to adopt it as a means to fund the Military School.
The French lottery had a similar history to that of the Italian lottery, which had first appeared in the sixteenth century. It was first used to raise money for military academies, hospitals, and universities. Louis XIV won the top prize in one of the earliest drawings and donated the money to the government. The French national lottery was subsequently banned in 1836 but was revived in 1933.
Origins of the Spanish National Lottery
The history of the Spanish National Lottery goes back to 1763, during the reign of King Carlos III. The idea behind the lottery was to raise money for the state coffers without levying a new tax. Originally called the Primitiva Lottery, this lottery was not very successful and was reformed several times.
In 1812, the Spanish Government began holding Christmas Lottery draws to raise money for the troops fighting Napoleon. The first draw was held in Cadiz and cost 40 reales, which is approximately 6 cents in today’s currency. The grand prize of 8,000 pesos fuertes was won by an ordinary Spanish man. Since then, the Spanish National Lottery has been running for over 200 years.