Lotteries are an old game and the first signs of a lottery trace back to between 205 and 187 BC, where ancient Keno slips were discovered. The lottery has helped finance major government projects like the Great Wall of China.
The first known European lottery occured during the Roman Empire and was mainly done as a form of amusement at dinner parties. The earliest public lottery on record was held in the Dutch town of Sluis in 1434 and the first recorded lotteries to offer tickets for sale with prizes in the form of money were held in the Low Countries during hte period 1443 and 1449. Various towns in Flanders, held public lotteries to raise money for town fortifications, and raising money to help the poor.
In several countries, lotteries are legalized by the governments themselves. In addition, with the explosion of the internet, several online web-only lotteries and traditional lotteries with online payments have surfaced.
In the web-only lotteries, the user has to select their pick and either watch an ad for a few seconds before the pick is confirmed or has to click on a web banner/link to register the pick in the system. The numbers may be drawn by the site that runs the online lottery or might be linked to a major physical lottery draw to ensure reliability. Prize money ranges from $100,000 to $10 million.