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A lottery is a form of gambling that involves the drawing of numbers for a prize.

Lotteries are outlawed by some governments, while others endorse it to the extent of organizing a national or state lottery.

Although the English probably first experimented with raffles and similar games of chance, the first recorded official lottery was chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, in the year 1566, and was drawn in 1569.

This lottery was designed to raise money for the "reparation of the havens and strength of the Realme, and towardes such other publique good workes".

The lottery was promoted by scrolls posted throughout the country showing sketches of the prizes.

Thus, the lottery money received was an interest free loan to the government during the three years that the tickets ('without any Blankes') were sold.

The first recorded Italian lottery was held on 9 January 1449 in Milan organized by the Golden Ambrosian Republic to finance the war against the Republic of Venice.The first known European lotteries were held during the Roman Empire, mainly as an amusement at dinner parties.Each guest would receive a ticket, and prizes would often consist of fancy items such as dinnerware.This attempt was a fiasco, since the tickets were very costly and the social classes which could afford them opposed the project.During the two following centuries lotteries in France were forbidden or, in some cases, tolerated.

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