History of the Lottery


Throughout history, lotteries have been used to raise money for many public purposes. In the United States, lotteries have funded various college campuses, fortifications, roads, bridges, and libraries. In addition, lotteries were also used to finance local militias and militia college schools.

Lotteries began as a method of voluntary taxation. People were willing to bet trifling sums in order to have a chance of winning a large amount of money.

In the United States, lotteries were introduced by British colonists. In the 17th century, several colonies used lotteries to help fund local militias.

In the 1832 census, there were 420 lotteries in eight states. These included the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which raised money for the “Expedition against Canada” in 1758. The University of Pennsylvania was financed by the Academy Lottery in 1755.

The first modern European lotteries appeared in the 15th century in the cities of Flanders and Burgundy. These lotteries were held in towns to raise funds for defenses and the poor.

French lotteries, however, were not common until the 16th century. Louis XIV was able to win top prizes in the lottery. In the 17th century, however, the general appeal of lotteries was waning.

The word “lottery” comes from the Dutch noun “lot” meaning fate or luck. The first documented lotteries were distributed by wealthy noblemen during Saturnalian revels. During the Roman Empire, lotteries were mainly used for amusement at dinner parties.

Private lotteries were popular in the United States. They were also used for selling products and selling property. Some authorities believe that lotteries are a form of gambling that is addictive. Others believe that they are a good way to raise money for charitable causes.