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History of lotteries in Europe (1466 – 1933). First state lotteries and winners in France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and others.

Between the XV and XVII centuries lottery drawings are widely used throughout Europe. The first mention of the lottery holding in the European countries is associated with the raffle, which was organized by the widow of the Flemish artist Jan van Eyck, timed to the 25th anniversary of his death. The lottery was held in Bruges, today’s Belgium, and dates back to the 27th of February 1466. Anyone who bought a lottery ticket could take part in the lottery and get a monetary reward. The money raised went to support the urban poor. After 1466 all kinds of lottery were held in Belgium, through which chapels, almshouses, canals, and port facilities were built.

Events of 1515, which occurred in the Republic of Genoa, reveal to us the mystery of the origin of the word "lottery". In the XV century in Genoa during the elections to local self-government body (the Grand Council) 90 candidates were elected, then by the final round it was required to select only 5 most worthy candidates. To get the fairest result, it was decided to hold a special lottery formula 5 of 90, thereby passing the final word "Lotto", which means in a translation from Italian "Destiny". In addition, there is a perception among the linguists, that the word "lottery" comes from the Frankish «hlot», which means "lots", and which eventually transformed into the English word "lot" – "share". Apparently, experts find it difficult to determine with chronological accuracy, which language is the ancestor of the modern word "lottery", but at least, the fact is obvious that the roots of its origin lead to the Romance language family.

From 1520 to 1532, the king of France, Francis I issued a decree on holding a lottery draws in an effort to improve the situation of the state treasury. Lottery wheels, of which citizens have pulled the tickets, were installed in several cities of France: Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Lille.

In Italy, one of the first high-profile lottery is "De Lotto de Firenze”, organized in 1530 in Florence. It was one of the first lottery, which raffled monetary prizes, so it was marked by the unprecedented success and quickly spread to other cities in the country, and since 1863 on the territory of today’s Italy regular national lotteries were held.

In 1726, in Holland (Netherlands), was formed and held the oldest and still operating today classic numerical lottery, which is a significant event in the history of creation and development of lotteries. The first numerical lottery, held in the Netherlands, had served as a catalyst for rapid development and distribution of lotteries throughout Europe.

In Spain, fashionable tradition to hold a lottery, brought from Naples Spanish King Charles III. December 10, 1763 the first draw of the Spanish National Lottery La Primitiva was held, that, just as the first Dutch lottery is among the long-livers and remains until today.

However, the Dutch and the Spaniards were not alone in their endeavors, and in chronological order, followed by the Netherlands and Spain in 1783, Portugal has launched the first national charity lottery under the oldest holy cathedral of Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa (Lotaria Nacional Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa), which is also one of the oldest in the world and permanent lottery institutions founded by queen Maria Pia.

In 1863, after the unification of Italy, it was established the first national lottery Lotto Italy, which draws have been held on a regular basis every week, and the income received in the State treasury.

In 1930, the first Irish national lottery were launched, who won on the US and Canadian markets and great popularity due to the total ban to held lotteries during this period of time in these countries. Also, among them were charity lotteries, organized for the benefit of Irish hospitals

In 1933, after almost 100 years of the ban period, the lottery called Loterie Nationale was again rehabilitated in France, which operated on a regular basis until the beginning of the Second World War, after which it draws were discontinued. After the onset of the peacetime the operation of the lottery was restored. 

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