Daily worldwide people seek their luck with state lotteries game, hoping for the lucky break of winning and changing their lives. Viewing the history of lottery might reveal a fascinating story of how such a game withstood so many alterations and yet grew more appealing to so many throughout time. The game is mentioned in the Old Testament, indicating how ancient it is and how far it has reached.
There are other historical records for the use of lottery in other cultures. The Chinese lottery known today as Keno was recorded at 200 BC. Cheung Leung, the Chinese Emperor, is considered to be the inventor of the Chinese lottery. It is said that it was this method of cashing money from the citizens except for taxes that financed the building of the Great Wall of China by the Han Dynasty.
In Europe there are no clear records dating the lottery invention but it is thought to exist already at the time of Julius Caesar (100 BC-44 BC). One of the most known events, where lottery in form of raffles, has taken place was the distribution of Jan Van Eyck paintings, by the Flemish painter himself in the year 1446. Similarly to China, there are records from Belgium at 1465, that state lotteries were used as an additional source of income in order to build houses, canal systems and chapels.
The English word lottery stems from Italian and means an unchangeable fate. Lottery was common in Italy and there are records in Florence that the winnings were sums of money delivered to the winners. In France of 1539, lottery was first used by King Francis I to clear his debts. In England the first records of lottery are from 1567 by Queen Elizabeth I. Here the prizes included valuable commodities as well as money.
In 1612, King James I authorized the first London lottery to support the establishment of a Virginia colony as well as of the British museum. In America, especially in the colonial times, state lotteries played a vital role in the financing of building roads, institutions as well as financing weapons. Many early American leaders have used lottery to promote their goals, especially those regarding wars.
Though it was first launched in 1726, the oldest active lottery system Is the Dutch one, Presently lottery is an excellent source for good fortune and for many people around the globe it holds the elusive promise of a new luxurious life.