Conducting lotteries is an ancient human tradition which stretches all the way back to between 205 BC and 187 BC in China (during the Han dynasty). Of course the practice of drawing for prizes in social events can also be found in the chronicles of the early Roman Empire as well. In fact, it is often said that none other than Augustus Caesar himself was one of the first to adopt the practice of holding novel lotteries at dinner parties, perhaps as an amusement. These days, lotteries are big business, with state, local and even national governments from around the world benefiting from the sale of lottery tickets.
Here are some of the more interesting (international) examples of modern lotteries…
First up we have the Irish lottery, otherwise known as “The National Lottery”. What makes this particular example interesting (aside from serving as the impetus in the film “Waking Ned Devine”) is the fact that “80 percent of the company’s shares are owned by Ireland’s semistate postal services provider An Post”, according to Wikipedia. If you’re looking for places to play, then you should note that you can play the irish lottery at william hill. Try out the irish lottery at william hill if you’re looking for something new.
Conversely, in a country like the US, lotteries are owned or operated by 47 individual jurisdictions comprising 44 different states (along with the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia). This lack of a national control structure means that each and every area tends to have its own laws and regulations concerning this particular form of socialized gambling. Moreover, for a number of these states, the lottery serves as one of the most significant sources of income which is used to maintain annual budgets.
Perhaps the exact opposite of the US model, the German lottery is entirely controlled by the government; in fact, some have even said that they have a monopoly on it. However, despite notions of the German government running a racket via their lottery system, they actually produce a fairly average number of annual winners (when compared with others on the global scene).
There is even a state lottery in Israel (called “Mifal HaPayis”), even though most forms of gambling are prohibited there. This particular lottery was established in 1951 in order to help generate funds needed for the construction of a hospital in Tel Aviv. Since that time however, a lot of the money has been used to promote the arts and education. Moreover, according to Wiki sources “In 2007, lottery revenues were 3.848 billion, of which 2.4 billion were granted as prizes and 1.1 billion used for various public projects.” However, by 2012, the annual intake had grown to around 5 billion or more.
In Australia you’ll find both flavors of lottery, if you will – those that are both state-run as well as examples where private companies are at the helm. Of course territory or state-level licenses still need to be ascertained by the owner(s) of these regional lotteries, but they have some freedom to pick and choose which games will be included / featured, and which won’t. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd even proposed (in 2008) the idea of using a national lottery to fund Australia’s Olympic sports program.