History of the Lottery


Throughout history, lotteries have been used to raise money for a variety of public projects. These include financing roads, fortifications, libraries, and college tuition.

In the United States, lotteries are administered by state and local governments. Some states have joined together to run multi-state lotteries. These lotteries have huge purses and high odds against winning.

The first recorded lotteries in the United States were in colonial America. Between 1744 and 1776, there were over 200 lotteries in the colonies. Some of these lotteries were tolerated, but others were criticized.

In 1755, the Academy Lottery helped finance the University of Pennsylvania. In 1758, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts raised money for its “Expedition against Canada” through a lottery. Some of the prizes were “Pieces of Eight.”

In the United Kingdom, the annuity lump sums are tax free. In Ireland, Finland, Germany, and New Zealand, there is no personal income tax. In Liechtenstein, prizes are paid as a lump sum.

During the Roman Empire, lotteries were used mainly for amusement. They were held at dinner parties and distributed by wealthy noblemen. They were also reported to have been used by Roman emperors to give away property and slaves.

During the 17th century, lotteries were also popular in the Netherlands. The Chinese Book of Songs refers to the game of chance as “drawing of wood,” “drawing of lots,” and “drawing of the tithes.” It is also believed that the Han Dynasty of China sold lottery slips to raise money for major government projects.