The Thorny History of the Official Lottery

official lottery

With Americans spending upward of $100 billion each year on lottery¬†prediksi togel singapore tickets, state lotteries are a booming business. But there’s a thorny history behind this form of gambling, and a few things to keep in mind before buying that next ticket.

Official lotteries are state-sponsored games that pay out cash or goods, usually in the form of a lump sum. They are a common source of revenue for state governments, which have come to rely on them as an alternative to raising taxes. Supporters tout them as a morally acceptable way to raise money and skirt the “regressive taxation” that comes with other sources of revenue, such as sales or property taxes. Opponents criticize them as a dishonest and unseemly scam that preys on poor people’s illusory hopes.

The word “lottery” was first printed in English in the 15th century, probably as a variant of the Middle Dutch noun lot (“drawing of lots”), but the concept is much older. Early state-sponsored lotteries were conducted in Europe, often for military purposes. The prize could be anything from a single piece of land to a whole army, and entrants paid a small fee for the chance to win.

America’s founding fathers were big believers in the lotteries, with Benjamin Franklin running one in 1748 to help fund his militia and John Hancock sponsoring a lottery to build Faneuil Hall. George Washington ran a lottery to raise money for a road over Virginia’s Mountain Road, but it failed to earn enough to make the project viable.