Lottery. Lotterie. Lotería. No matter what language, people around the world love lottery games! On International Lottery Day every August 27, we’re all dreaming about euros, dollars, pounds and lire. Why? Lottery-style games have gone mobile — so it’s easier than ever to play! That’s great news for the UK, where a study shows 83% of residents report purchasing scratch-off lottery tickets in the past year.
Today is the day where we all try our luck and you never know, a lifechanging sum of money could be on the horizon.
International Lottery Day timeline
Queen Elizabeth I authorizes England's first official recorded lottery. It's designed to raise money for the "reparation of the havens and strength of the Realme, and towardes such other publique good workes." (That means for "the good of the country," we think.) Each ticket holder wins a prize — which include silver and other valuables.
Australia's first lottery begins as a private affair in Sydney, before moving to other areas such as Queensland and Victoria. The government would start its own lottery in 1916 in order to raise money for charities and public projects. Early proceeds help WWI veterans.
Canada's Olympic Act, an effort to prepare for the 1976 Games in Montreal, allows the Organizing Committee to sell tickets nationwide. All funds go to either finance the Games, or the development of amateur sport in the contributing provinces.
Prime Minister John Major's government sets up a new state-sponsored lottery, with TV host Noel Edmonds presiding over the first drawing in 1994. Since then, proceeds have gone to over 535,000 causes including the Paralympic Games and 2012 London Olympics.
International Lottery Day Activities
Play the lottery
The odds may be against you but someone has to win it so why not you? Buy yourself a ticket and allow yourself a few minutes to daydream of a mansion on the beach.
Play as a group
Why not? Gaming's great for socializing. On International Lottery Day, get your friends together and share the fun! Your biggest concern? How to split the big prizes. That's a nice dilemma to have.
Buy a friend a ticket
Having someone buy you a lottery ticket is an exciting little surprise. If they win they are sure to remember you and if they don't then at least you allowed them to dream for a moment.
5 Of The Biggest International Lottery Jackpots Ever
Merry Lotería de Navidad!
The Spanish Christmas Lottery, the world's largest lottery game, doled out an amazing first-prize jackpot of €720 million in 2012, the equivalent of $941.8 million at the time.
Fish and chips for life — and then some
One lucky UK winner won €185 million ($260 million) in 2011 — the year's largest single-ticket jackpot in the EuroMillions lottery.
A pair of Eurojackpot players each grabbed one-half of a record-tying €90 million ($100 million) jackpot in 2019. One winner hailed from Germany; the other lived in Poland. He was the first Polish player to win.
Koalas for everyone
Oz Lotto, an Australian lottery game, paid out a whopping AUD $111,972,151 to four winners in 2012.
Cold Canadian cash
Lotto 6/49 delivered Canada's largest single jackpot of CAD $64 million in 2015.
Why We Love International Lottery Day
We like to dream big
After buying a lottery ticket it's common to spend a little time daydreaming about 'what if'. What would you do if you become a millionaire? As unlikely as it is, there's no harm in letting your mind wander there for a couple of minutes.
We like the suspense
As you're scratching the card or waiting for the numbers to be drawn there's that moment of suspense that is full of childlike excitement.
The fun can be shared
Playing in a group means that it's a great chance to share the fun with others. Win or lose you have something to look forward to.
International Lottery Day dates