The Revolution of the Lottery

Here in Malta, Lottery is evolving, and we couldn't be happier about it. The concept of Lotto has come a long way. We all remember the days before the evolution of lottery betting, queuing up for a paper ticket, dreaming of a world where Lotto came with rollover guarantees, free lines and simple subscription service

Today, that dream is a reality, and it has all been made possible by the award-winning lottery platform YoMillions.

But what about the origins of the lottery, where did it come from and who started it? Luckily, we have the answers!


The Great Wall of China, a product of Lotto funding.

While some Lotto providers might act like the concept of the lottery belongs to them, it's actually been around for thousands of years, like our Megalithic Temples in Tarxien.

The very first appearance of the lottery was in ancient China.  It was rumoured that the Chinese rulers used a rudimentary form of lottery (Keno to be exact) obtaining funds for the Great Wall of China. The source of this tale is the Book of Songs, which is the earliest collection of Chinese poems in existence.

In Europe, the concept was first introduced by none other than Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. Much like China, it was brought in to raise funds to repair Rome, and prizes were dished out to lucky participants. 

Augustus would also arrange lottery draws amongst his dinner party guests, with prizes of varying value distributed.


Fast forward to the 15th century, and things started to get a bit more recognisable. Holland and Belgium didn't just bring us clogs and beer, they also introduced the paper lottery ticket.

Before this, a lottery draw system was used to give out spaces in the daily Brussels markets, and prize draws were recorded in Utrecht in 1445, and Gent in 1446.


Genoa in Italy was the home of the next Lotto innovation and another step closer to the format we all know and love. Every six months, in Genoa five council members would be drawn out of a pool of ninety, and people would bet on which names would come out.

Eventually, residents of Genoa demanded more than their twice-yearly draws, so numbers were used to replace the candidates' names.

Betting on Lotto numbers, where have we heard that before?


Spain is home to one of the world's oldest lottery, El Gordo (The Fat One), the Spanish Christmas Lottery. The first draw happened in the ancient city of Cádiz, and hasn't missed a single year since.

An estimated 75% of Spanish adults take part in the Christmas draw, and the jackpots are the biggest in the world.

In Malta, The National Lottery was set up as a Government monopoly in 1934. Before February 2004, all National Lottery games fell under the responsibility of the Public Lotto Department. Now, the MGA is responsible.

England has flirted with Lotto since 1556 when Queen Elizabeth 1st chartered the first official one in the country. The English State Lottery ran from 1694 until 1826, when after heavy opposition in parliament, it was called to a stop, probably down to a threat to social classes and new money.


Paris, where the twice-weekly EuroMillions draw is held.

In the 20th century, lotteries re-emerged across the globe, and are now the world's most popular form of gambling. While they all follow the same principle, each draw has its own unique features, odds, prices and jackpots.

That's not all. For many years lotteries were contained within the boundaries of their host nations, until EuroMillions came along, becoming the first transnational jackpot draw. With nine countries taking part, jackpots are consistently amongst the largest in the continent, and the numbers are selected in Paris.


Lotteries have certainly come a long way, although the principle has remained amazingly precise for over two thousand years, and that's where the challenge lies. How do you bring a concept that is older than Jesus and bigger than The Beatles into a world of smartphones and the Internet?

For one thing, it's all about offering more choice. In 2018, do lotto players really want to be limited to their national lottery? Hell no! That's why YoMillions offers over ten international lotteries, giving an unrivalled level of choice.

How many Lotto players have forgotten to enter a huge rollover because life got in the way? With YoMillions’ subscription service, you're always in with a shot.

Ever looked at your favourite Lotto, the one you enter religiously every week, and thought that jackpot just isn't big enough? With a click of a button, the YoMillions multi-ticket enters you into 3 lotteries that week making the possibilities endless... is one of Malta’s favorite online sportsbooks offering over 30 different sports and featuring thousands of events. From football, to tennis, to politics - you name it, we have it! have now launched YoMillions which offers a vast range of international lotteries with various jackpots, and it’s all so easy to play! is licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) under the following license: MGA/B2C/227/2012 issued on 1st August 2018. 18+ only. Gambling can be addictive. Play responsibly. For more information visit

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