The History of Lottery Games


A game of chance has been around for thousands of years, with the first lottery slips dating back to the Chinese Han Dynasty (205 BC to 187 BC). It is believed that the games helped fund major government projects. The Chinese Book of Songs mentions a lottery game as “drawing wood” or “drawing lots.”

History of lotteries

The history of lotteries has many origins. The word lottery is derived from the Dutch word lot, which means “fate.” Originally, lotteries were practiced by the Romans and Han Chinese, and the earliest keno slips date from between 205 BC and 187 BC. Roman lotteries raised funds for public works and the Chinese believed they helped fund large government projects. Lotteries were continued and expanded into the Middle Ages.

Types of lotteries

There are many different types of lotteries. Lotto is the most common of all. Players choose six numbers in sequence and hope to hit the jackpot. Whether you match all six numbers, win a set or a specific set, you’ll be a winner! Much like progressive slot machines, lotto jackpots can be huge! Depending on the game you choose, you could win as much as 200 million euros!


The origins of lottery games are multi-faceted and varied. For centuries, they have been used to settle legal disputes, allocate property rights, and fund major government projects. Prior to the bans of the late 1800s, lottery games were widespread throughout Europe and North America. Today, many countries still legalize the practice and millions of people play lottery games. There are numerous versions available in retail stores, but what is the origin of the word lottery?

Prizes offered

Official rules for a sweepstakes or lottery must state the date the draw starts and ends, eligibility requirements, method of entry, prize description, void jurisdictions, and any other disclosures required by law. Prizes offered by lottery generally are worth at least $1 million, with smaller prizes being offered as side prizes. In many jurisdictions, sponsors must disclose their identity and financial relationships with each sponsor, as well as any other relevant information about the lottery or sweepstakes.

Profits generated by lotteries

Although the number of profit-generating lotteries varies from state to state, some have more than others. In Wisconsin, for example, Governor Scott Walker recently requested an additional $3 million for advertising the lottery. This increased advertising expenditure is expected to yield a four-to-one return on investment. Across the country, however, lottery advertising has experienced mixed success. Massachusetts lottery advertising generated $626, while New York produced $79 for every advertising dollar.