The History of the Lottery


Lotteries are a popular way for the general public to raise money. In most cases, the amount of money raised is used to support a wide variety of public and charitable purposes.

The origins of lotteries date back to ancient times. In fact, the Chinese Book of Songs mentions a game of chance called “drawing of wood” and the Ancient Romans held a lottery during Saturnalian revels.

Private lotteries were also common throughout the United States and England. They were often used to sell property and products, as well as for financing various projects.

The first known European lotteries appeared in the Roman Empire. Some emperors also used them for giving away slaves or property.

Lotteries are usually organized with a hierarchy of sales agents. Tickets are purchased, and then passed through the organization until they are drawn.

Usually, the pool is returned to the bettors at a rate of between forty and sixty percent. If the winnings are millions of dollars, the pool will be subject to state and local taxes.

Many lotteries are run by the state or city government. These organizations use a computer system to store large numbers of tickets.

Lotteries are an easy way to raise money. However, they can have enormous tax implications. Unless you are careful, you can end up paying a large sum of money in taxes.

During the 17th century, several American colonies held lotteries during the French and Indian Wars. For example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts used a lottery to finance its “Expedition against Canada” in 1758.