The History of the Lottery


The practice of dividing property by lot dates back to ancient times. The Old Testament instructs Moses to take a census of the people of Israel and divide their land by lot. Ancient Roman emperors used lotteries to award property and slaves. Lotteries were a popular form of dinner entertainment, known as apophoreta. Apophoreta is Greek for “that which is carried home.”


To get tickets for Phish’s 2022 spring tour, you can enter an early lottery system for those who bought tickets for General Admission (GA) floor seats. You must have a ticket number to be eligible for the lottery. There are also additional requirements for early access, including a valid government-issued photo ID and proof of vaccination. For more information, visit You can also enter a lottery for more than one show.

Early games

There are several early recorded lottery games. In the 14th century, the first recorded lotteries offered money prizes for tickets. Many Low Countries towns held public lotteries to raise money for the poor and for fortification of the town walls. These early games were likely much older, but the record for the town of L’Ecluse from 9 May 1445 mentions a lottery. The winning ticket was worth 4304 florins, which are about US$170,000 in today’s money.

Early games in the United States

American game companies first produced board games in the 1860s. Milton Bradley, a lithographer and publisher, invented a morality game that took the player from infancy to happy old age. His Checkered Game of Life taught players about right living and the importance of integrity. While many earlier games shared these themes, the Checkered Game of Life was one of the first to use the teetotum, or traits, as a game board.

The first games produced in the United States were inspired by historical events. Some games, such as the first transcontinental airmail route and Lindberg’s flight, were based on real events. Games based on the development of commercial aviation and the building of Little America in Antarctica have been made for children. American companies also produced games based on the early history of transportation, such as the automobile. The theme was popular with the burgeoning aviation industry.