Gambling for Fun: Lotteries and Football Pools
Gambling is the art of exchanging something small and certain for something large and uncertain. Most religious authorities disapprove of gambling and many Islamic nations prohibit gambling altogether. And in most countries gambling is regulated in some way or other. There is no doubt that gambling can, for some people, become addictive and may even lead to tragic social consequences. For the vast majority of people, however, a small flutter on the lottery or football pools does no harm and brings a little fun and excitement into their lives. But even when gambling for fun it may be sensible to be aware of your chances of winning, so read on.
The first public lottery to pay money prizes was La Lotto de Fienze, which began in Florence in 1530; it was soon followed by similar events in Genoa and Venice to raise funds for various public projects. In the United Kingdom the first such lottery took place in 1569 principally to raise money for the Cinque ports.