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

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History of the Lottery in the USA

In the USA many different lotteries in colonial times were used for the financing of both private and public ventures.

More than 200 separate lotteries were authorised between 1744 and 1776.

Proceeds from such lottos were used to pay for the building of public access areas in the form of public roads, canals and bridges as well as financing the construction of institutional buildings such as libraries, churches and even colleges.

In the 1740s, the foundation of Princeton and Columbia Universities was financed mostly by lottery proceeds and later, in 1775, so was the University of Pennsylvania.

Famously, Benjamin Franklin used a lottery to generate the money required to purchase a cannon that was used to defend Philadelphia.

Although George Washington created the Mountain Road Lottery in 1768 it proved to be unpopular and thus was unsuccessful. However, as each lottery ticket bears Washington’s signature they became collectors’ items. As recently as 2007 one ticket is reported to have sold privately for over $15,000.

Signed Mountain Road Lottery Ticket

Mountain Road Lottery ticket signed by Washington

Washington also acted as a manager for Colonel Bernard Moore’s “Slave Lottery” which operated in 1769. This lottery ran in Virginia and had prizes, not of money but, of land and slaves.

It is also known that many States ran lotteries during the American Civil War to finance both civil and military projects.

Lotteries continued to grow in both popularity and scale until their slow decline due to mismanagement and claims of fraud were levied against lottery organisers.

In July 1890 the then U.S. President, Benjamin Harrison, demand that Congress put in place “severe and effective legislation” against the running of any type of lottery. On Harrison’s suggestion Congress voted and banned banned the U.S. mails from carrying lottery tickets.

The Supreme Court upheld this law in 1892 which effectively ended all lotteries and led to their complete dissemination in the United States by 1900.

In the USA New Hampshire became the first State to sell lottery tickets on March 12, 1964. this was quickly followed by other States until we have the flourishing lottery in existence today.

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Page 1 – History of the Lottery

Page 2 – History of the Lottery in the USA

Page 3 – The Top 3 Lottery Systems


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