Table of Contents
1. History of the Lottery
2. History of the Lottery in the USA
3. Top 3 Lottery Systems

Lottery History

The lottery is very old indeed. However before we go into the history of the lottery I should explain where the name originates.

It stems from a Dutch word (loterij) which means fate.


Quenn Elizabeth the First

Queen Elizabeth I started the first lottery in 1567

Although the modern National Lottery only started in 1994 in the UK it was, Queen Elizabeth I who started the first lottery in England in 1567.

And, in 1612 the king of England, James I, used lottery money to help build up the colony of Jamestown in Virginia.

However, it is believed that British lotteries may go back even further than the historical record denotes, perhaps as far back as to Romany-Britain.

European Lotteries

Frances the First

The King of France used lottery funds to pay off debts

These days European countries have separate lotteries but also have one massive lottery but this is not the first instance of a European lotto draw.

Jan Van Eyck had a lottery in 1446 to raise money and offering his paintings as prizes.

In 1465 Belgium had many lotteries that were used to raise funds for city building projects.

In 1530 Florence, Italy, offered cash prizes in a lottery.

In 1539 the King of France, Francis I, held a lottery to try to ease the countries growing debt.

In the Netherlands the Dutch lottery, that is still played to this day, dates back to 1726.

Ancient Lotteries

Even before that we can see evidence for lotteries in China as far back as 200BC.

Book of Numbers

There was a lottery in the Book of Numbers

This game was so popular that it is still played today as the modern Keno and proceeds from the original game were used to build The Great Wall of China.

We can determine that the lottery is way older than this though!

The lottery dates back to the Bible.

In ancient biblical text we see evidence for lotteries taking place.

In fact it is written in the Book of Numbers that Moses was given land near the River Jordan after playing a local lottery!

….Continue Reading on Next Page

Page 1 – History of the Lottery

Page 2 – History of the Lottery in the USA

Page 3 – The Top 3 Lottery Systems