Lottery in France
The first known lottery in France was created by the King Francis I in around 1505. After that first attempt, lotteries were forbidden for two centuries.
They reappeared at the end of 17th century, as "public lottery" for the Paris municipality (called Loterie de L'Hotel de Ville) and as "private" ones for religious orders (mostly for nuns in convents).
Lotteries became quickly one of the most important ressources for religious congregations in the 18th century.
Lotteries helped to build or rebuild many churches (about 15 from including the biggest ones) in Paris during the 18th century, including St Sulpice or Le Panthéon.
At the beginning of the century, the King gave the right to do lotteries to religious orders avoiding by this action to give them money, but the amounts generated by lotteries became so important that the second part of the century turned into a struggle between the monarchy and the Church for lotteries control.
In 1774, the Loterie de L'École Militaire was founded by the monarchy (by Mme de Pompadour to be precise, to buy what is called today the Champ de Mars in Paris, and build a Military Academy that Napoleon Bonaparte would later attend) and all other lotteries were forbidden with 3 or 4 minor exceptions.
This lottery became known a few years later as the Loterie Royale de France. Just before the French Revolution (1789) the revenues from La Lotterie Royale de France was about 5 to 7% of total French revenues.
Through the 18th century, philosophers like Voltaire as well as some bishops cited that lotteries exploit the poor. This subject has generated much oral and written debate over the morality of the lottery.
All lotteries (including state lotteries) were frowned upon by idealists of the French Revolution, who viewed them as a method used by the rich for cheating the poor out of their wages.
The Lottery reappeared in France in 1936, called loto, when socialists needed to increase state revenue. Since that time, La Française des Jeux (government owned) has a monopoly on most of the games in France, including the lotteries.
Lottery the racehorse Winner of the 1839 Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, nr Liverpool, England. Often stated as the first running of this famous race as it was the first to truly attract National interest in the United Kingdom. It was actually the fourth running but the previous three races failed to capture the imagination and were quickly forgotten. Lottery was such a good horse that it was said he could trot faster than most of his rivals could gallop and he would surely have won the National more than once had it not been for the fact that stewards forced him to race under an impossible weight burden. So worried were some courses that Lottery would scare away the opposition that they organised races that stipulated that they were open to all horses bar Lottery.
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