The lottery has been played for over four centuries. It was first played in Italy as the “La Lotto de Firenze.” The dream of turning a few dollars into a fortune is universal. Today, lotteries worldwide are the largest form of gambling. The US lottery alone has 177 different games with more than 1,000 drawings every week. A ticket costs $2 and the odds of winning are 1 in 39 billion. It’s not surprising that people all over the world play the lottery.
Online lottery play has come a long way in recent years, with online lotteries coming onto the scene in 2012. These online lotteries are still a relatively rare phenomenon, but their popularity is growing. The history of the lottery in the US has been a roller-coaster ride. In 1934, Puerto Rico established the first official state lottery. New Hampshire made lottery play legal in 1964. Today, nearly half of the US has a lottery.
The Continental Congress used the lottery to raise money for the Colonial Army. Alexander Hamilton was an early supporter of lotteries and wrote that if a lot of people gambled a small amount, the chances of winning a large amount were greater. As a result, people were willing to take a small risk for a great reward. In the United States, taxes had not been a popular way to raise funds, but the lottery was a great solution to public funding problems.