The Chinese Han Dynasty that flourished from 205 to 187 BC saw the first traces of lottery. The “keno” slips were the first ever recorded proofs of the lottery game. Lotteries are known as revenue source for government projects today. Back in the game’s earliest existence, the Han Dynasty lotteries are likewise believed to have been sources of funds in the construction of major government projects such as the Great Wall of China. This is also the earliest recorded proof of lottery revenues by the state. The Chinese book of the 2nd millennium BC titled “The Book of Songs” contains valuable reference to a game of chances called “the drawing of wood.” In principle and in context, the mechanics of this ancient game describe the use of drawing of lots. Over on the other side of the globe during ancient history, the “teulel pren” of the Celtic era roughly translates to “to throw wood” but actually denotes “to draw lots.”
The Beginnings of European Lottery
Lotteries started in Europe during the Roman Empire. It all began as a form of amusement during dinner parties. Every guest would be given a ticket and all the ticket holders would end up winning a prize such as dinnerware and other fancy items. In actuality, these games were a way for the rich politicians and royalty to distribute gifts for various reasons and motivations. The government-sponsored lotteries sanctioned by the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar were the first ever lotteries that sold lottery tickets. The prizes consisted of items of different value. These games were also a source of lottery revenue for the government because they generated funds that went to the repairs needed in Rome.
Earliest Lottery Tickets
The earliest recorded popularly and widely sold lottery tickets happened in the 15th century in the countries along northwestern Europe’s coastal region known as the Low Countries. These countries included the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the Rhine delta. The towns would hold public lotteries to be able to raise funds for the poor townspeople and the construction of fortifications. The first Italian lottery was held in Milan in 1449.