What is Lotto? And Who Started It?


You may have heard of the lotto – the game of chance in which numbers are drawn and one is selected at random to win a prize. Although it is a form of gambling, some governments have banned lotteries or endorsed them, while others have done both. But what is lotto? And who started it? In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of lottery in France, Spain, and England.

History of French lotteries

The history of French lotteries goes back to the 16th century, when King Francis I of France introduced a government lottery. The game was very popular throughout the country until the seventeenth century, when King Louis XIV donated the top prize to the government for redistribution. The French government banned private lotteries in 1836, but reintroduced them two decades later as the Loterie Nationale. Today, French lotteries are popular worldwide, and more than one million people have won prizes in the French Lotterie Nationale.

In 1776, the royal lottery was created by Louis XVI, who hoped to raise funds while avoiding a politically charged debate with the Parlement de Paris over taxation. The new lottery was portrayed as a way to create a new market for consumption and finance, and it undermined the absolutist ideology. Critics argued that the Loterie undermined the monarchy by displacing the monarchy as a traditional paternal figure.

History of Spanish lotteries

Spain is the world’s second-largest lottery market and the modern lottery began there in 1811. The promoter of this game, Ciriaco Gonzalez Carvajal, was the first to create a weekly gazette. The “Dwarf” newspaper was promoted as the cheapest in Spain, and was so successful that it was made into a weekly publication in 1851. The Universidad Carlos III of Madrid is one of the main institutions in Spain that supports research projects on lottery history.

Lottery by numbers first started during the reign of King Carlos III in 1763. Initially intended to raise revenue for the state, this lottery did not prove to be very popular. It was reformed several times until it resembled a modern lottery today. In 1812, it was renamed the Primitiva Lottery, and was wildly popular until it was replaced by the El Gordo lottery in 1812. The Primitiva was then banned in 1862 and brought back into existence in 1988. In 1993, it was renamed the Loterie Moderne.

History of English state lotteries

In 1698, Queen Elizabeth I decided to implement a state lottery in England. With little money left over for public works, she had two options: levy a new tax on citizens, or create a lottery. She chose the latter option. In return, she promised lottery winners immunity from prosecution for crimes other than piracy, murder, and felonies. As a result, the first English state lottery was born.

The first English lottery was held in 1567. Elizabeth I, the ruler at the time, wanted to expand her export markets abroad and decided to raise money through lottery sales. The first draw offered PS5,000, but tickets were extremely expensive and were unaffordable by the average citizen. The prize was not just “ready money” though – the first place winner received two thousand pounds in plate, tapestry, and linen.