They say that you can never know everything about a subject or be an expert at the subject until you know about its history. One can learn a lot about history and in case of UK lottery, knowing something about its history is both entertaining and also beneficial. Okay, when we are talking about the history being useful, we mostly mean knowing about the history of numbers that have been drawn in the past and possible calculations based on those sequences. However, this article is not about and it is more for entertainment and informative purposes. Namely, in it, we will cover the ancient history of UK lotteries and as well as the modern history.
It is essential to put things into context and to give you a broader picture of the history of lottery, not only in the UK, but in worldwide context. For instance, the first recorded documents that we have about lottery come from the 3rd century B.C. from china where the Han Dynasty organized lottery in order to pay for the construction of the Great Wall. Of course, they did not cover all the costs, but it did raise quite a lot of money. The Romans also organized lotteries, both private ones and “national” ones. For instance, on an occasion, the lottery was organized in order to pay for certain repairs necessary in Rome. Later, in the 15th century, the governments in the Low Countries used to regularly organize lotteries whose proceedings went to paying for the fortifications of towns and helping the poor.
When we are talking about the history of lottery in the UK, the first event and perhaps the most memorable dates back to the 16th century, or more precisely to the year 1566, when Queen Elizabeth I organized the first national lottery that we know of. The tickets were sold for the next three years and in 1569, the draw was organized, with the prizes being equal in value to the sales of tickets. You can conclude for yourself that this lottery was not organized in order to earn the money, but instead to lend the money only without interest.
There is another very interesting thing about this first organized lottery in the UK. Namely, the tickets were given to brokers who would then sold them to the common people. This way, everyone had the opportunity to buy tickets, or even shares of tickets in case they had no money to buy entire tickets. The brokers who did the selling later became stockbrokers.
When we are talking about the modern history of UK lottery, the year 1994 is essential. Namely, before 1994, there was no national lottery in UK to speak of. There were some local lotteries and regional ones, but it wasn’t until 1994 that we first got national lottery. John Major, the then Prime Minister played a huge role in this as he founded the National Lottery Commission that would oversee the entire process. The license for organizing the lottery was granted to a company known as Camelot Group which still holds the license after it was renewed on two occasions.
Since then, there have been a number of different national lottery games organized in the UK, games that you enjoy to this day. We should also mention the EuroMillions as it is another historic moment when the UK national lottery got together with the Spanish and French one in order to organize the first European lottery.