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Tuesday, 16 February 2016


The earliest records of a lottery offering tickets for sale was one organized by Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. The funds were for repairs in the City of Rome, and the winners were given prizes in the form of articles of unequal value.

The first Italian lottery whose actual date was recorded was held on January 9, 1449 in Milan organized by the Golden Ambrosian Republic to finance the war against the Republic of Venice.

The first public lottery to have paid money as prizes is believed to be La Lotto de Firenze in Florence in 1530. This was such a successful enterprise that the practice quickly spread to other Italian cities.

The first British lottery took place near St Paul's Cathedral in London on January 11, 1569. It was organised under Queen Elizabeth I, to raise money to repair the country's harbors and the prizes were plates, tapestry and money. Despite the lottery being promoted by scrolls posted throughout the country showing sketches of the prizes it was a flop. So constables and justices were dispatched to "persuade" minor criminals and vagabonds to buy a ticket.

English Lottery 1566 Scroll. CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia Commons

The Dutch used lotteries to raise money for New York's poor as early as 1655.

State lotteries were popular in France during Louis XIV's seventeenth century reign. This was until Louis and his court began to win prizes. The french king had to return his winnings.

The original thirteen colonies of the United States were financed with the help of lottery dollars. It has been recorded that more than 200 lotteries were sanctioned between 1744 and 1776, and played a major role in financing bridges, canals, churches, colleges, libraries, roads, etc.

At the outset of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress used lotteries to raise money to support the Colonial Army. Taxes had never been accepted as a way to raise public funding for projects, and this led to the popular belief that lotteries were a form of hidden tax.

1776 Lottery ticket issued by Continental Congress to finance American Revolutionary War. By Ronshelley (talk)Ron Shelley. Original uploader was Ronshelley at en.wikipedia. 

Every receipt at every store in Taiwan is a ticket for a government lottery with top prizes worth over $300,000. It was introduced in 1951 to combat sales tax dodging by businesses.

Lottery winners in Australia can choose to remain anonymous after an 8-yr-old child was kidnapped for ransom then murdered after the father won a lottery in 1960.

New Hampshire adopted the first legal lottery in 20th century United States in 1964.

In the United Kingdom, the first National Lottery draw was held on November 19, 1994. A £1 ticket gave a one-in-14-million chance of correctly guessing the winning six out of 49 numbers.

The first numbers drawn were 30, 3, 5, 44, 14 and 22, the bonus was 10, and seven jackpot winners shared a prize of £5,874,778.

2 of the old Lottery Ticket stands in a supermarket. By Chris Downer, Wikipedia

Denise Rossi won $1.3 million in the California Lottery on December 28, 1996 and filed for divorce 11 days later. She didn’t tell her husband, Thomas, and two years later he found out all about his ex's huge win and sued her. The judge awarded Thomas all of Denise's winnings.

The largest single-ticket jackpot winner in history whose name is known was Jack Whittaker Jnr. of West Virginia. In December 2002 he had the sole winning ticket for a $314.9 million jackpot in the U.S. Powerball lottery.

On October 12, 2010, the numbers that rolled out on Israel's weekly state lottery were 36, 33, 32, 26, 14, 13, and the additional 'strong' number 2. They were exactly the same numbers as were drawn three weeks earlier – an event statisticians said was a one in four trillion chance.

The numbers that rolled out during a live television broadcast were 36, 33, 32, 26, 14, 13, and the additional 'strong' number 2. It didn't take long for some viewers to notice that these numbers were exactly the same as those drawn in the September 21st draw.

On December 24, 2010, psychic Ocean Kinge of Aldershot, England won the Lottery as part of a syndicate of 15 that scooped exactly £1 million. She claimed she predicted the win six months earlier. Her share was £66,666.66.

Early in 2012, almost the entire village of Sodeto, Spain won the largest prize to date in the Spanish Christmas Lottery drawing, a sum of about $950 million. Every resident had purchased at least one ticket, except for one man, who was accidentally overlooked by the ticket salespeople.

Powerball set a record for the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history with its January 13, 2016 draw. The US$1.586  billion jackpot was split by three tickets sold in Chino Hills, California, in Munford, Tennessee, and in Melbourne Beach, Florida.

The record for most cash collected by a single lottery winner was won by Mavis Wanczyk, a powerball player in Chicopee, Massachusetts, to Mavis Wanczyk, who won a jackpot of $758.7  million on August 23, 2017 (lump sum  $480.5 million).

Oregon local Joemel Panisa was cleaning his room when he found a lotto ticket from January 15, 2016—it was worth $1 million and was about to expire in eight days.

Whenever the Australian actor High Jackman is filming, he buys lottery tickets for the entire crew every Friday. It's a tradition he started in an effort to get to know one another and encourage comradely and team work among the crew.

Up to 80% of US lottery winners file for bankruptcy within five years.

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