There are a few reasons why we wanted to write a short article on the history of lottery in the UK. The first of these is that the lottery in United Kingdom has been one of the most important parts of the lottery history in general. The second reason for this is that it has included some very interesting moments that people will probably find quite interesting. Also, it makes for a nice read and you might actually learn something from this article.
Before we start dissecting the history of the UK lottery, we should probably say something about the earliest history of lottery as it is impossible to talk about any history without putting it into context. Of course, the first recorded lottery comes from China, the place where pretty much everything started. The Roman Empire also had different sorts of lottery, from purely recreational one to one organized by the Empire itself in order to cover for certain expenses. The Low Countries were among the first in the middle ages to start organizing lottery and England was soon to follow.
The first record of lottery in the UK comes from 1566 when Queen Elizabeth I chartered the lottery that was supposed to reinforce the strength of the empire. The draw was held in 1569. The interesting thing about this is that the empire did not earn anything from the lottery as the prizes equalled the amount of money paid b the people who wanted to take part. This is why this first recorded UK lottery could be seen as something of an interest-free loan from the subjects.
Another interesting thing about this first lottery in the United Kingdom is that the government sold rights for selling the lottery tickets to brokers. These brokers spread all over the country, selling tickets and allowing people to actually buy shares of tickets as the tickets were far too expensive for most people. These brokers actually evolved into the first stockbrokers who later started doing everything that they do these days.
In the next 250-odd years, lotteries thrived in the UK, with a number of private lotteries being organized to finance different undertakings, including supporting the settlements in the America. There have also been a number of different lotteries held by the British government overseas and that introduced the idea of lotteries to the new country that would soon embrace them.
When we are talking about modern lottery in the UK, the interesting thing is that it does not truly start until the 1994, when everything went national. Of course, there were a number of local and private lotteries organized in the UK before that, but in 1994, the Camelot Group was first granted the rights to organize the modern, national lottery in the United Kingdom. The license that this company got from the government was renewed in 2001 and in 2007. It has to be said, however, that it is still regulated by a government body, the National Lottery Commission.
Today, there are numerous different lottery games to play in the UK and it is important to realize how long and how rich the history behind it all has been. It feels humbling at times to think that when you play your weekly ticket, you are participating in a history that is over 400 years old.