The Lottery dates back to the 17th century. Newspaper ads from the colonial era point to hundreds of lotteries in operation. It was not until 1934 that Puerto Rico became the first US state to start operating a lottery. Today, forty-five US states and the District of Columbia run lotteries, as does the Virgin Islands. There are both drawing games and instant win games. To win the biggest prize, you must purchase at least one ticket.
The top lottery draws in the US have been huge, with jackpots topping $1.5 billion in some cases. In many instances, only one lucky ticket has the winning numbers. But in others, one lucky ticket can take home the jackpot and become an instant multi-millionaire. In the US, Mega Millions and Powerball are two of the most popular lotteries, with more than eight billion dollars in sales each month. These jackpots are enormous – some of them make the news!
The first recorded lotteries date back to the Han Dynasty in China. It is thought that these lottery sales helped finance major government projects such as roads and bridges. There are also inscriptions in the Book of Songs that mention lotteries as a means to fund a “wooden or wooden expedition.”