Interesting Facts About the Lottery That May Surprise You


The lottery has a long history. The government used it to finance many projects throughout the United States, from the construction of Faneuil Hall in Boston to a battery of guns in Philadelphia. However, it was eventually outlawed in 1826. Despite this, it continues to play a major role in American society today, including financing schools, infrastructure, and many other government projects. Here are some interesting facts about the lottery that may surprise you.

Historical background

The lottery has its roots in ancient times. According to the Book of Joshua, Moses draws lots to distribute territory to the twelve tribes of Israel, and the lots are drawn several more times, revealing that the practice of lot-casting and randomness was already widespread. In ancient Rome, lottery-style games were common in the early years, and they helped distribute gifts during feasts like Saturnalia. Throughout the Middle Ages, the practice of lot-casting spread throughout Europe.

Distribution of prizes by lot or chance

A distribution of prizes by lot or chance is an ancient practice, dating back to the time of the Old Testament. In the Bible, Moses is instructed to take a census of the people of Israel and divide the land by lot. Roman emperors held lotteries to distribute property and slaves. A lotto was a popular form of entertainment at ancient Roman dinner parties, known as the “apophoreta.” It was Greek for “that which is carried home.”

Growth of sales

The global lottery market experienced strong growth in the first quarter of 2018. In fact, all continents except Antarctica saw positive gains. While the first quarter of 2017 was the last time the lottery industry enjoyed an encouraging start to the year, 2018 is likely to be even better. Africa, for example, had a 17.7% quarter-on-quarter increase in lottery sales, while Latin America saw a 13.9% growth. The strong performance of the Caixa Economica Federal lottery in Brazil helped drive that growth.

Taxes on winnings

Lottery and prize winnings are taxable for the U.S. federal government, but you may be surprised to learn that you can pay less in taxes on these gains. You’ll pay taxes on the federal government’s portion of your prize as well as on any state or local tax you may owe. In some states, you may be able to get out of paying taxes on lottery winnings by making estimated payments instead.

Public schools that receive a percentage of revenue

In most states, a percentage of the proceeds from the lottery goes to public education, not to private sector interests. The State Controller’s Office distributes Lottery funding to public schools based on enrollment, ADA (Average Daily Attendance) for K-12 schools and full-time enrollment for higher education and specialized institutions. The lottery funds have contributed millions of dollars to state education budgets.