10 Things You Didn't Know Were Paid By The Lottery - BuzzNation
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10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Paid By The Lottery

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#1. The Great Wall of China

great-wall-lottery

Around 200 BCE, the Western Han Dynasty used a lottery to pay for repairs to and expansion of the Great Wall. They created an early form of Keno called the “white pigeon game,” named for the birds that carried results from village to village.

#2. The Roads to Rome

roads-to-rome

Around 200 BCE, the Western Han Dynasty used a lottery to pay for repairs to and expansion of the Great Wall. They created an early form of Keno called the “white pigeon game,” named for the birds that carried results from village to village.

#3. Voltaire’s Academic Career

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In the 1700s, a French national lottery was created after the bond market collapsed. To encourage bond purchases, lottery tickets were awarded against a fractional percentage of their purchase. Voltaire and his friend, mathematician Charles Marie de la Condamine, discovered a mathematical flaw in the program that allowed them to purchase large quantities of tickets as holders of cheap bonds. Before the government caught on, Voltaire made enough on his winnings to live comfortably while pursuing philosophy.

#4. The Jamestown Colony

jamestown-colony-lottery

You could say that America itself is the offspring of a lottery: In order to finance the privately-held Virginia Company of London, King James I granted the company the authority to hold a lottery to raise funds for a grand exposition. Proceeds were used to create Jamestown, the first English colony in the New World.

#5. The Ivy League

ivy-league-lottery

How did these frontier colleges become the elite learning institutions of America? During the 1700s, many of them raised money for new buildings or dormitories through lotteries (some running them multiple times). Among the schools that relied on games of chance to build their campuses were Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, and the forerunners to Columbia and UPenn (whose motto remains “Laws without morals are useless”).

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