The first recorded lottery happened in England at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1569.
The lottery has a long history. Almost 400 hundred years earlier, we have a record of a governmental lottery. Lotteries have probably occurred even earlier, just not recorded. It had the support of the English crown as a way to raise funds for improvement projects.
Sir William Cecil convinced Queen Elizabeth I to support the lottery. They announced the it to the people in August of 1567. Even though they tried many incentives to encourage the people to buy tickets, they only sold about ten percent of what they anticipated. It did not succeed in raising enough funds for improvement and Sir William Cecil had to find other ways to raise the money.