From the Han Dynasty to the Internet Age: The Evolution of Lottery

By: Chino Moreno


One of the world’s most played betting games—because it is endorsed by more state and national governments than any other game—lottery has existed for hundreds of years, and perhaps, even before common-era human civilizations emerged. The earliest known form of the game is believed to have originated in China during the Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC. Comprised of Keno slips, the game was instrumental in providing financial support to various government projects, most notably the Great Wall of China. Other predecessors of the game have their roots in Europe: the Celtic era had the concept of “drawing lots” while Homer’s “Iliad” involved lots being placed into Agamemnon’s helmet to determine who would fight Hector.

During the peak of the Roman Empire, lotteries were held at dinner parties, mainly for amusement. It was a common practice for noblemen at that time to give their guests fancy gifts through a random drawing of tickets that each guest was assigned with. In the 15th Century, the first official lottery games (selling of tickets for prizes) were recorded in the Low Countries (northwest of Europe). In other territories, lotteries were held to provide better town fortifications and to help the poor.

In Milan, Italy, the game was used to finance the war against the Republic of Venice. But it was in Genoa that lottery became more widespread. In France, a portion of state finances was supplanted by Lotto activities. In England, Queen Elizabeth I chartered an official lottery as well as raffles and other games of chance.

At the turn of the 20th Century, lottery dwindled in importance as many governments have banned it. After the World War II, however, number games started to re-emerge and plenty of casinos were established. The game has become immensely popular that there already dozens of lotteries worldwide that are state or nationally supported. With the advent of the Internet, the game entered another era. Online lottery is now a common feature in online casinos, with a wide variety of number games made available for punters. Operated through RNG (random number generator), the game is accessible by virtually every country where online gambling is not prohibited.

The chances of winning in an online number game vary widely, but the factor that will make the difference is mainly the count of numbers involved. Some lotteries may only involve less than 30 numbers while others may reach a hundred (or even more). Some online casinos produce winners only when their bet matches all drawn numbers while others give smaller prizes for some of the winning numbers.

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Chino Moreno is a writer whose interest is to write about gambling specifically about 12bet online live casino games, online live sports betting and online bingo number games. His love for sports (especially football), gambling and passion for writing is something he do for a living.

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