Lotteries – brief history
Lotteries, or ‘lottos’ as they are often called, are among the most popular forms of gambling in the world today. Most people don’t really consider them to be gambling in the same sense as slots or other types of casino games, but you may be surprised to learn that you can play lottery games at top online casinos on the web.
Most people that play the lottery do so at a town, city, province or state level, with some lotteries being held nation-wide. These are known as national lotteries, while others are state or even private lotteries, some with smaller prizes and cash pools. Regardless of the type or form of lottery that you play, they can be enormous fun and are always easy to play.
While most of us are quite familiar with national or state lotto as we’ve all been glued to our television sets at one time or another, eagerly awaiting the live draw of the lucky numbered balls, most of us have no idea just how old this favorite pastime actually is.
Almost every ancient nation across the world had some form of lottery with different purposes. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used forms of lotteries for all sorts of things, from deciding who would be the next person to lead, deciding who would serve in their armies and many other things. A number of cultural historians also believe that the actual lottery system that we recognize today can actually be traced back to Ancient China. Many of the Ancient Greek or Roman systems were based on ‘drawing lots’, possibly where we actually get the modern name from.
However, the Ancient Chinese used a formal number system for their lottery game. There are several stories of how the original lottery idea developed and one of the more popular ones is based on an ancient Chinese general or warlord. Two of the most popular stories regarding the Chinese warlord have completely different reasons for the start of the very first national Chinese lottery game.
The one story claims that the general needed to generate enough funds to build the famous Great Wall of China, still considered to be one of the great wonders of the world. The construction of this wall would take years to complete, with a considerable amount of manpower and money needed. The second story is a little simpler and involves the same general needing to raise money to build a great army. In either case, the driving reason ultimately created a very clever way to generate these funds whilst still rewarding lucky citizens for their participation.
To create the first national Chinese lottery, scholars and mathematicians gathered to come up with the perfect and most fair system possible. If was decided that the lottery would contain eighty characters and that these would consist of the first eighty characters from the Thousand Character Classic. These eighty Chinese characters were then evenly arranged on a small board which allowed participants to pick the Chinese characters that they thought would be drawn.
Players who wanted to play would have to buy one of these boards and then pick any five characters from the eighty available characters on the board. The lottery game was immediately popular as it was very easy for anyone, even the most uneducated field worker or peasant to understand and participate in.
The very first Ancient Chinese lottery was a resounding success, with players from all over China participating. The five lucky characters were drawn in the capital city and the result was carried to outlying villages by white doves. This gave the original Chinese lottery game its first name, “baak-gap-piu”, Cantonese for “white dove tickets”.
The well-loved casino game called keno is also said to have been derived from this Ancient Chinese lottery game and you may notice that both keno and regular lottos follow more or less the same format and basic rules. The modern lottery game that we know today also still follows the same basic layout as that very first white dove ticket, and in fact, most lottery cards or tickets probably would resemble the original style and shape exactly.
We still follow the same basic rules as well, with eighty numbers to choose from while we select five that we think will come in. OF course the newest lottery games can offer slightly different formats with added Power Ball options which allow players the chance to pick an additional lucky number to increase their winning chances. If you happen to be playing online lottos or keno at an online casino you can also pick as many as twenty numbers from the eight number grid.
Generally however, most national or state lotteries still work on the basic five number system plus an additional sixth lucky number counting towards the winning sequence. Some lottos are held once a week, with a pre-selected draw date, usually a Friday or a Saturday evening. The draws are televised across the entire country and winning results along with the breakdown or allocation of the prize pool split is known within a short period of time.
Quite often, if there is no outright winner of the main jackpot, the main jackpot then rolls over to the next week. This can result in some lottery jackpot prizes being absolutely massive. The funny thing with these types of situations is that, the bigger the estimated prize pool, the more people play. This can be a good thing and a bad thing depending on the actual number draw results.
Often if there are quite a few winners with less than six or five numbers, the prize allocated to each winner can be quite small. One the other hand, if there only a few winners with five or six correct numbers, the prize allocation can be much bigger. Sometimes it just depends on how many people are playing the lotto that week and how many of them are lucky. The size of the main jackpot also has an effect on how the final allocation breaks down.
Picking Your Best Lotto Option
There are dozens of great lottery and lotto organizations and games all over the world. While most follow more or less the same, tried and trusted formula, there is still enough diversity in all the different lottery games to keep things interesting. Some lottery games are very specific to certain regions such as the Viking Lotto while others do accept participants from all over the world.
There are so many lotto’s to choose from that we are quite sure you will be able to find a great lottery game in your area or at least, one that you can legally participate in from your area. Below we have gathered together some of the most popular and most interesting lotto or lottery games from around the world. It is quite interesting to see how each one works as well as the average prize pool and number of players involved on a weekly basis in each of them. Check out our picks of lottery games from around the world.