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World Lotteries Timeline

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  • 2013

    Lottery history The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 2006

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 2002

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1994

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1986

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1974

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1964

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1930

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1917

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1726

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1566

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1539

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1449

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...
  • 1445

    The first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The ...

12 B.C. (Roman Empire)

Augustus CaesarThe first-known lottery offering tickets for sale is the one created by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, circa 12 BC. The funds raised were used to repair Rome’s infrastructure (aqueducts, public buildings, temples and roads), and the winners received prizes in the form of articles of unequal value.

205 – 187 B.C. (China)

Keno
The first recorded signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty, when warlords developed this game to finance government projects like the Great Wall of China.

Bible

MosesIn biblical times, lots were frequently drawn to determine animals for sacrifice (Leviticus 16:8) or to end disputes (Proverbs 18:18). Even land ownership was sometimes determined this way (e.g. Numbers 26:55 and Joshua 18:8-10). For example, in the Book of Numbers it is written when the Israelites arrived on the plains of Moab with Moses, on the Jordan River, the promised land was divided by lot. Of course, these were not lotteries in the modern sense, as chance wasn’t seen to be a factor (it was God’s will), and no payment was required, or prize involved.

As Old as Man

Lotteries, in various forms, really have been around since human beings started socializing. This is a condensed timeline of World Lottery history, more detailed information is available at the sources below. (You can also see a useful graphical representation of the history of World Lotteries here)

[Sources: Wikipedia, History of Lotteries, Chad Hills and NASPL]

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