How many times a week does the average person daydream about the potential to win a lottery? The dream of winning a lottery has been something that humans have done since the concept was introduced and it’s something that remains a prominent part of the conscious mind in society today. Here is a look at the history of lotteries.
The first signs of the lottery trace back to the Han Dynasty in China around 200 BC but it was the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, who was the adopted son of Julius Caesar, that is recognized for establishing lotteries as we understand them today. Caesar came up with the idea of organizing a lottery as a way of both raising revenues and popularity back in ancient Rome. While the concept of the lottery was a huge hit back then, there are plenty of examples of powerful people taking advantage of the common people when it comes to lotteries. The French philosopher Voltaire organized a system with a mathematician named Charles Marie de La Condamine that led to him becoming extremely wealthy for years until the French government finally caught on to their scheme and took them to court. Even at that point the government couldn’t prove that Voltaire and his accomplice did anything illegal but it serves as one of the most memorable aspects of the history of the lottery.
US Presidents & The Lottery
The Founding Fathers in the United States were avid users of the lottery for both political and personal gains. From George Washington to Ben Franklin, these presidents set up lotteries that helped raise funds for railroad projects and other government ventures while also dipping in to the money themselves for their own personal wealth. The key behind the lottery was that people were willing to put their money towards a good cause while also increasing their chances to be wealthy on their own. It was the perfect way for the governments to raise money for infrastructure while also skimming off the top in order to fill their own pockets. Thomas Jefferson was perhaps the most supportive president when it came to lotteries as he used the money to pay off his own debts but was eventually caught and exposed before he died.
The lottery system is set up perfectly for those in power to take advantage as they can easily manipulate the numbers in order to skim money off the top that they can use for their own personal gains. These people in power understand the power of illusion created by convincing the masses that they will have the potential to be wealthy beyond their wildest dreams and they use that influence in order to successfully raise large amounts of money that they can use how they see fit. While a good portion of the money raised is used for the right reasons, the fact that they are able to use the money for their own personal gains is something that is important to keep in mind since it represents the biggest flaw in the concept of the lottery.