Definition, meaning, history Jumbo Ticket blog banner

The Lottery is one of many popular traditional gambling games, where participants play their risks by buying tickets to win a big jackpot prize. What does lottery mean in the modern sense? This article covers from history, meaning to the definition of lottery.

Definition of lottery

“a drawing of lots in which prizes are distributed to the winners among persons buying a chance” Is how Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines lottery.

Lottery, the process of distributing something, usually money or prizes, between a group of people by chance or at random. The type of lottery under consideration is a form of gambling in which many people buy opportunities, called lottery tickets, and the winning tickets are drawn from a group consisting of all or all or most of the tickets sold or on sale consisting of the possible permutations of the numbers or symbols used on the tickets.  Expenses, including winnings to the promoter, advertising and taxes or other income, have been deducted from the pool, although some lotteries have pre-determined the number and value of prizes and the winnings to the promoter are dependent on the number of tickets sold.

Most lotteries offer a very large prize in addition to many smaller ones. Lotteries have great appeal as a means of raising funds; They are easy to organize, easy to play, and popular with the general public. The practice of determining the distribution of property per batch goes back to antiquity. Among dozens of biblical examples there is one in the Old Testament (Numbers 26: 55-56) in which the Lord instructed Moses to conduct a census of the people of Israel and to divide the land among them by lot. 

A popular dinner in ancient Rome was the apophoreta, Greek for “what to take home”, where the host distributed pieces of wood with symbols and then, towards the end of the night, a raffle for prizes that guests took home with modern lotteries Similar types include those used for military service, commercial promotions where property is given away at random, and jury selection.  Members of registered electoral rolls. However, under the strict definition of any type of gambling, consideration i.e property, labor or money must be paid in order to have a chance of winning.

History of Lottery

Early History

The first European lotteries in the modern sense of the term appeared in Burgundy and Flanders in the 15th century when peoples tried to raise money to strengthen the defense or help the poor.  Francis I of France allowed the establishment of lotteries with private and public profits in several cities between 1520 and 1539. Possibly the first European public lottery to award cash prizes was La Ventura, which has been under the patronage of the ruling family d’Este (see Casa de Este) in the Italian city-state of Modena since 1476.  The Genoa Lottery served as a model. It was such a successful endeavor, despite opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, that the practice quickly spread to other Italian cities and elsewhere. When the Italian nation acceded, their first national lottery was created in 1863, with regular weekly draws organized to generate revenue for the state. Lotto, the Italian national lottery, is considered to be the basis of these modern games of chance like politics, numbers game, keno, bingo and the lottery. 

Queen Elizabeth I founded a general lottery in England in 1566 to raise money for port repairs and other public purposes. In 1612, the Virginia Company received a lottery license from King James I to fund the settlement of Jamestown, New York, while several company-operated lotteries failed to address the urgent need for funds and complained about by business owners in some English cities related difficulties, lotteries were considered to be the “first and most secure” way to raise funds.  

Lotteries accounted for nearly half of the company’s annual revenue in 1621 when the House of Commons eventually banned corporate lotteries due to bitter disagreements within the company itself. In 1627 a number of lotteries were authorized to raise funds for the construction of an aqueduct for London and lotteries were actually held in England until 1826, with the exception of a ban from 1699 to 1709.  

In the 17th and 18th centuries England experienced some major problems with running lotteries. For most of that time, lotteries were the only form of organized game available to people. Torchlight parades in the streets. Contractors often managed to buy tickets at lower than standard prices for later resale with excessive margins, and a kind of side bet called insurance – a small bet that a ticket would or would not be drawn on the regular schedule. Lottery – became popular.  

The state could not generate any income from either of the latter two practices, whereas dishonest private operators could.It was also alleged that lotteries encourage mass gambling and that sweepstakes are fraudulent; Their abuses strengthened the arguments of the lottery opponents and weakened their defense lawyers, but before they were banned in 1826, the government and licensed developers had lotteries for all or part of the funding of projects such as the building of the British Museum, bridge repairs, and many projects in America Colonies, such as the delivery of a battery of weapons to defend Philadelphia and the rebuilding of Faneuil Hall in Boston.  

The Continental Congress in 1776 voted to create a lottery to raise funds for the American Revolution. The system was abandoned, but for the next 30 years the practice of running smaller public lotteries, which were viewed as mechanisms, continued. for receiving “voluntary taxes” and helped establish several American universities: Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, King’s College (now Columbia), William and Mary, Union and Brown.  Privately organized lotteries were also common in England and the United States to sell products or property for more money than could be obtained through a regular sale.  By 1832, lotteries had become very popular; the Boston Mercantile Journal reported that 420 were held in eight states the previous year. 

However, the abuses by private organizers continued and once again opposition voices began to dominate. In 1827, postal workers and their assistants were banned from selling lottery tickets. Most states began enacting anti-pilot laws. In 1868, Congress declared illegal the use of mail in letters or circulars relating to lotteries “or other similar undertakings on any pretext” to be illegal. The 1878 Supreme Court ruling found lotteries to have “a demoralizing influence on the people”. 

Postal regulations had no direct impact on the elimination of lotteries; The most successful lottery in the United States was organized in Louisiana in 1869 and ran non-stop for 25 years.  There were Louisiana Lottery agents in every city in the United States.

Modern History

The basics of lotteries are usually fairly straightforward. First, there must be a way to record the identity of the bettors, the amounts wagered by each and the number or other symbols on which the money is wagered. The bettor can write his name on a ticket which is deposited with the lottery organization for subsequent reworking and possible selection during the draw. Or the bettor can purchase a numbered ticket with the knowledge that that number will be placed in a pool of numbers, with the bettor responsible for later determining whether their ticket was among the winners. 

Many modern lotteries operate with the aid of computers, which record the number (s) selected by each bettor or randomly generated numbers. Typically, bettors are responsible for determining whether they have a winning ticket at a later date, although sometimes the identities of buyers are recorded and payment for winning tickets can be deposited directly into bettors’ bank accounts. Another procedure only requires the bettor to inform a lottery representative of the number, usually up to three digits, that will be drawn, and to trust the representative to appear with the prize later, s’ it is won. This is the normal procedure in the numbers game, which has been popular for decades in most major cities in the United States. The numbers game is defined in U.S. state laws such as illegal lottery. The Bolita, a lottery close to politics, is played in Puerto Rico and, in the United States, between Cuban and Puerto Rican groups. The draw is a numbered ball from a set of balls numbered 1 to 100. 

 A second element of all lotteries is the draw, a procedure for determining winning numbers or symbols. This can take the form of a pool or a collection of tickets or their stubs from which the winners are drawn. The banknotes must first be thoroughly mixed by mechanical means, such as shaking or throwing; it is a randomization procedure designed to ensure that chance and chance alone determine the selection of winners. Computers are increasingly used for this purpose due to their ability to store information about a large number of tickets and also generate random winning numbers. In lotteries where the bettors themselves can select their own numbers, this may mean that several tickets with the correct combination of winning numbers are sold – in which case the prize is shared among the winners – or, conversely, that such a ticket was not. sold. The usual procedure in the latter case is to transfer the amount of the win to the next draw (called the jackpot, or rollover), increasing the amount of the first prize (s). In this way, very large sums can possibly be paid.

How does Online Lottery work?

Most online lotteries are not run by the government, unlike traditional lotteries. Private companies usually run lotteries online or act as intermediaries for real games, such as MegaMillions, EuroJackpot or PowerBall. the added convenience of being able to participate in a larger pool of  national and international games. 

With traditional lotteries, it’s a matter of geography and location. You normally play the lotteries available in your area, unless you want to drive, fly, or take the train to buy tickets for different lotteries. With online lottery sites, you can play  as many  games as you want, all from the comfort of your  home, office, football stadium, or local pub.

Things to consider before playing the lottery

The lottery can be a fun game to participate in but nonetheless it is a gambling game. Here are a few things to consider before you participate in a lottery. It is advisable not to play the lottery if you have a gambling problem, or if you can’t financially recover from playing it regularly.

If you’re thinking of playing online lotteries, be vigilant for scams and fraudulent activities. Make sure you’ve done your research and read all legal documents.

List of famous lotteries

Almost all countries have national lotteries, online lotteries are however banned in countries like India among others.

Lottery Description
California State Lottery since 1984. The Lottery has a clear mission: to provide supplemental funding for public schools and colleges.
China Welfare Lottery Launched in 1987, the China Welfare Lottery is one of two legal lotteries in mainland China, the China Welfare Lottery has created big prize winners and raised more than RMB310 billion for good causes, such as supporting the elderly, the disabled and the vulnerable, throughout the entire country. Every time a ticket is sold for games like 3D Lottery or Double Colour Ball, players fund their own dreams of winning big prizes while aiding those in need.
Euro Millions Launched February 7, 2004. Pan-European lottery lottery that takes place once a week, on Friday evening. Whereas national lotteries are generally limited to the residents of one particular country, the Euro Millions lottery pools the stakes of the participating European countries (Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain & Switzerland). All prizes, including the jackpot, are tax-free (except in Switzerland) and are paid in lump sum.
Eurojackpot A transnational European lottery launched in March 2012. As of September 15, 2017, the countries participating in the lottery are: Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. The evaluation of the winning lottery tickets is done in Germany and Denmark.
German Lotto Lotto 6aus49 launched in 1974 and is one of Germany’s biggest lottery games. The lottery is managed by the Deutscher Lotto-und Totoblock (DLTB) which represents 16 individual lotteries from various regions.
La Française Des Jeux Since 2009. The operator of France’s national lottery games.
Loterias Y Apuestas Del Estado | LAE The Spanish national lottery game has been organized every year since 1812. As measured by the total prize payout, the Christmas Lottery is considered the biggest lottery worldwide. In 2006, if all of the tickets were sold, the total amount payout of prizes would be worth more than €2.142 billion (70% of ticket sales). The total amount of all prizes of the first category called El Gordo (“the big one”) was €540,000,000 which was distributed among 180 winning tickets (billetes) that won €3,000,000 each.
Mega Millions Since 1996. American multi-jurisdictional lottery game; it is offered in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mega Millions is one of America’s two big jackpot games, and the only one with Match 5 prizes up to $5 million (with the optional Megaplier). Jackpots start at $40 million and other prizes range from $2 to $1 million, or even more with the optional Megaplier!
National Lottery Since 1987. The state lottery of the Republic of Ireland.
New York Lottery Since 1967. The third modern U.S. lottery, after Puerto Rico’s began in 1934, and New Hampshire’s in 1964.
Powerball Since 1992. The number one lottery game in the United States. American lottery game sold in 44 jurisdictions as a shared jackpot game. It is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), a non-profit organization formed by an agreement with lotteries. Powerball is a game whose advertised jackpot starts at US$20 million (annuity) and can roll into the hundreds of millions over many drawings. The jackpot is paid as a 30-payment annuity; players may choose cash instead.
Superenalotto Since 1997. The Italian lottery (Europe’s biggest-ever lottery prize: Saturday, August 22, 2009 – €147.807.299,08).
The UK National Lottery Since 1994. The state-franchised national lottery in the United Kingdom.

Pros and Cons of online lottery

Playing an online lottery like traditional lotteries has its benefits and drawbacks. For example Traditional lotteries are easily available, but at the same time too many players means winning wouldn’t guarantee big prizes since they are split among winners based on lottery results.


  • It is convenient to play lotteries from anywhere in the world with just a smartphone or computer and an internet connection.
  • People don’t have to wait for hours in long queues to purchase a ticket.
  • Most online lottery platforms offer more than just one jackpots, some even offer other casino games.
  • Players can buy tickets and receive their winnings without having to be physically present.
  • There is no closing time when it comes to online lotteries, tickets are available online anytime.
  • Online lotteries have prompt payouts, since everything is processed instantly online.


  • Security is always a matter of worry for users when it comes to indulging in anything online. Online lotteries are no safer from the threats of online scams and threat to information.


  • Are the rules different if I play the lottery online?

No, the rules are the same. When you play online, you play the same game so the rules and prizes available are the same as if you had played at a store.

  • Are random number generators truly random?

Almost all lotteries give their players the option of Quick Pick or Random Number Generators, which lets them play the numbers randomly generated by the terminal. So, it doesn’t matter what option you choose, all that matters is that you are playing the game with much responsibility.

  • How to win the lottery?

Winning a lottery is often considered a play of complete luck. But that’s not always the case. Winning a lottery game does require a mindful selection of numbers, application of astute techniques, statistical analysis of past results, and then lastly luck.


Also Read – Jumbo Ticket Trust, How a Dollar Can Make a Difference

What is Lottery – Definition, Meaning, History

Category: Lottery

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

17 + 16 =