The first known European lottery is believed to have been held during the Roman Empire. These lotteries were primarily for amusement and were distributed to guests at dinner parties. The prizes, often fancy dinnerware, ensured that all ticket holders had a chance of winning something. The earliest known European lotteries were also held by wealthy noblemen during Saturnalian revels. Some of the earliest documented lotteries were conducted by the Roman Emperor Augustus in the first century AD. The money raised by the lottery was used to repair the City of Rome.
Buying tickets online is as simple as logging onto the lottery site, choosing your numbers, and purchasing your ticket. Purchasing your lottery tickets online is as easy as buying a traditional ticket at a physical distribution point, with the added bonus of being able to compare odds and jackpots before you buy. There is no need to download special software to play online; these sites are mobile-optimized and have a user-friendly interface. Some sites even offer free lottery tickets if you refer a friend.
The first lotteries began in the Netherlands during the 17th century as a way to raise money for the poor and public projects. As the lottery grew in popularity, it became a popular way to tax citizens and fund public projects. The oldest lottery still running today, the Staatsloterij, was established in 1726. Because it had such a long history, the English word lottery was derived from the Dutch noun, ‘lottery’, meaning “fate.”