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You probably play the lottery every week, but do you ever wonder where lotteries came from? How did it start and why? Looking into lottery history could provide some answers.
The first lottery was believed to be a type of keno game played in China a very long time ago, between 205 and 187 BC. Even to this day, keno is played by many people all around the world. The first lotteries were believed to have been started to fund projects. Even the Great Wall of China was built, partially, from lottery revenue.
Even to modern day, lotteries have helped to finance major government projects. A good example of this would be the 1976 summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Two years prior to the Olympic games, in 1974, lottery tickets worth $10 each were sold and a jackpot of $1 million was offered, with the proceeds going to fund the Olympics. You might be used to jackpots in the hundreds of millions of dollars range in games such as EuroMillions, Powerball, and Mega Millions, but in 1976, $1 million was huge. Actually, at that time, it was the single biggest jackpot ever. The lottery raised $15 million for the Montreal Olympics.
To this day, the lottery has stayed true to its roots. Lotteries today tend to help fund things such as education, health-care, arts, and other projects that help communities grow and prosper. So, the next time you spend a dollar on your favorite lotto game, you will know a little bit of the history of lotteries.