The first modern lotteries appeared in 15th-century Flanders and Burgundy, as towns sought ways to raise funds for the poor and defense. Francis I of France allowed several cities to hold lotteries between 1520 and 1539. In Italy, the city-state of Modena held a public lottery, or ventura. A lottery was also held in Genoa, which was the first in Europe. It was this lottery that led to the current format of the lottery.

Examples of lotteries

Lotteries date back more than two thousand years to China and Rome. They were used to raise money for military forces during the French and Indian War, and to help fund the common good without raising taxes. In upstate New York, lotteries raised money for everything from literature libraries to Union College to boards of health. They were even a popular way to spend spare change. But, do lotteries actually work? The answer may surprise you.

As far back as the 16th century, lottery games were common throughout the Netherlands, and in the 17th century, lots were drawn to decide who was to own a piece of land. By the end of the seventeenth century, lottery games were widespread throughout Europe and the United States, and soon developed extensive specific constituencies. In addition to teachers and convenience store operators, lottery suppliers made heavy political contributions to state governments, and state legislatures were accustomed to the extra revenue. Since the 16th century, lottery games have become a legitimate source of government funding. Since New Hampshire started the modern era of state lotteries, no state lottery has been eliminated.