Lottery games have been in existence since ancient times. The first recorded lottery slips were from the Chinese Han Dynasty, between 205 BC and 187 BC. Many believe these lotteries were used to raise funds for major government projects. The game of chance is also mentioned in the Chinese Book of Songs, where it is referred to as “the drawing of wood or lots”. Regardless of the source, the history of lottery games is as varied as the cultures that have used it.
Lotteries were common in the Low Countries as early as the fifteenth century. During this time, various towns held public lotteries to raise money for poor people and for town fortifications. It is possible that some lotteries were even older than this. A record from the town of L’Ecluse from 9 May 1445 mentions a lottery in which 4304 tickets were sold, and the prize was 1737 florins, which is approximately $170,000 in 2014.
Lottery games are a great way to raise funds for a worthwhile cause. Many states and even the District of Columbia have a lottery. Players pay a small amount to play and hope they are the lucky winner of one of the prizes.