Back in 1777, the American Continental Congress tried to raise money for the Revolutionary Army by running a lottery.
Back in 1777, the American Continental Congress tried to raise money for the Revolutionary Army by running a lottery. Now, 200 years later, 13 American states are using, or are about to use the get-rich-quick dream to raise some revenue.
There was a charge recently by Attorney General Willia Saxbe that the 13 states were breaking federal law, but that threat (ENDED TODAY) when the House amended anti-gambling statues to permit news media more freedom to disseminate information on lotteries.
America latched on to lotteries quite late...with New Hampshire establishing one in the modern era in 1963. The ancient romans had them first, then French Kings made them an important source of revenue in 1520. The French are still running one.
The Republic of China -- Taiwan -- is one of a dozen countries now raising revenue with lotteries. Among others are Spain, Italy, Mexico and many Latin countries. Canada is raising Olympic funds with lotteries that offer one-million-dollar, tax-free prizes.
Nationalist China's operation is similar to others 'round the world with special kiosks that only sell lottery tickets. To attract buyers, the shop-keepers given them names such as "Great Fortune Lottery Store," and "First Prize Lottery Shop."
The Bank of Taiwan runs the thrice-monthly drawings and handles ticket distribution. You can buy a ticket for 25 cents...or a half share. Top prize here is $12,500 but there are 13,000 smaller prizes in each drawing.
These drums are French-made...the fashionable European gambling casinos of Deauville and Monte Carlo having spread France's reputation in this specialty. Incidentally, there's an International Lottery Association which runs seminars on the latest developments in lottery management and technology.
The Republic of China lottery pays out 43 percent of the gross "take" in prize money...about the same as its American counterparts.
For the American states running them, lotteries are a billion-dollar-a-year industry, with total profits of 700-million dollars.
(New York State grossed $125,000,000 in 1973)