Origins of a Lottery


Historically, the origins of a lottery date back to the Han Dynasty of China. It was a form of keno slips that offered prizes to players and it is believed that the lottery was one of the first games that a society would play.

First recorded signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty

Among the oldest known signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty. These were used to fund a number of government projects during the Han Dynasty (205-187 BC). It was believed that the slips were used to finance the construction of the Great Wall of China.

The first recorded European lotteries were held in the Roman Empire. Lotteries were used to fund public projects and distribute gifts. Emperors were often seen to host parties and gifts at these occasions.

Lotteries also appeared in various European cities. A record dated 9 May 1445 in L’Ecluse mentions that the lottery was used to raise funds for the walls and fortifications of the city.

Origins of the game

Despite its popularity, most people have a very limited idea about the origins of the lottery. Nevertheless, the game is considered as one of the most popular forms of gambling and has changed the fortunes of people across the globe.

The earliest recorded lottery games date back to the Han Dynasty of China, which lasted from 205 to 187 BC. The Book of Songs, the earliest collection of Chinese poems, mentions the lottery.

During the Han Dynasty, lotteries were used to finance ambitious government projects. They were also used to settle legal disputes and assign property rights. Lottery proceeds were used for construction of the Great Wall of China and repairs to buildings in Rome.

Tax-free jurisdictions for winnings

Whether you win the lottery or just get a windfall, there are some states where you are not obligated to pay any taxes. However, the laws for the various states vary and you should know what to expect.

The United States of America comprises 50 states and two territories. The states that do not tax lottery winnings are California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Arizona, Rhode Island, and Utah. The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico operate differently from other U.S. territories. In some cases, you may be liable to pay taxes on your winnings in addition to the federal taxes.