History of Soviet lotteries

The first lotteries in our country appeared in the 18th century. It was a good way to both replenish the state treasury and raise money for charity. For example, to help starving people or those injured in hostilities. By decree of 1829, the emperor himself issued permission to hold lotteries, the total winnings of which exceeded 500 rubles. For circulations with a smaller fund, the signature of the Minister of Finance was required.

But the attitude of the Bolsheviks to lotteries was negative at first. Gambling, in their opinion, was a relic of capitalism, which means that in a socialist society this phenomenon had to be fought mercilessly. By the 1918 decree, any gambling was prohibited, and violators faced very serious punishment. But the Soviet government also needed money, and there are gamblers in any society. So why not help the state at their expense? Three years later, lotteries were again allowed. True, their implementation was strictly controlled by the state.

In 1921, a drought hit the country. So the government remembered the old way of collecting money. A Commission for Assistance to the Famine was created, headed by M. I. Kalinin. Donations from citizens and organizations came from all over Russia, lotteries also provided great help.

Moreover, the distribution of lottery tickets was often compulsory: they were issued for change, imposed through trade unions, or handed over as a burden when buying any scarce goods. As the woman-manager of the house said in the famous Soviet comedy: "And if they don't take it, we'll turn off the gas."

In the late forties and early fifties, no editions were carried out in the USSR. But, in 1956, the era of the revival of Soviet lotteries begins, the country was preparing for the VI World Festival of Youth and Students, which was scheduled for 1957, and such an event required considerable expenses.

At the end of the fifties, lotteries became a good way to draw money out of citizens' money-boxes, and in order to stimulate people to buy tickets, goods were offered as prizes that were not easy to find on the free market: household appliances, bicycles, motorcycles. But, the most important dream of a Soviet citizen was to win a car.

Lottery tickets had one significant drawback: from the moment of purchase to the drawing, it often took a lot of time, and the draws themselves were carried out without the participation of players, just the results were published in newspapers. There was not enough excitement.

Another thing is the Sportloto editions, which have been regularly held in the Soviet Union since 1970. The player himself could cross out the numbers that, in his opinion, should become winning. Some hobbyists have spent years developing "tricky" combinations that would lead them to success. And some programmers even received reprimands for using computers for these purposes during working hours.

And since 1974, Sportloto's circulations have been broadcast live, no wonder that this game has much more fans. Some lucky ones managed to win large sums, but the state was the most fortunate, into whose budget millions of rubles regularly flowed.

The Sprint cash lottery was no less popular. Here, in general, everything was extremely simple, there was no need to wait for any circulation, it was enough to buy an envelope with a ticket at the kiosk, open it and immediately determine how good fortune was for the player.

Tickets of two types were issued - 1 ruble each and 50 kopecks each. Large prizes could be won in any of these tickets, but there were three times more cars in ruble tickets. A good incentive for a time when you had to queue for a car for years. Moreover, winning a car was much more attractive than money, the car could be resold profitably.

Winnings up to one hundred rubles were paid on the spot, but more substantial amounts only after a thorough examination of the ticket. By the way, for the production of the tickets themselves, equipment was purchased in Germany. They had six degrees of protection. Moreover, in the Soviet Union, winning lottery tickets were often counterfeited and then resold. The scammers hoped that the deceived "lucky ones" would not go anywhere to complain, because many of them made their fortune "in the most dishonest way."

There were no bookmakers in the Soviet Union, but there were enough fans of sports predictions. It is for them that since 1987 tickets of the "Sportprognosis" lottery have been on sale. The players were asked to guess the outcome of 13 matches. The winnings were paid to those who predicted the outcome of at least 11 of them.

Naturally, there were much more lottery losers than those who managed to win. But, the citizens of the Land of Soviets were confident that all the proceeds from the circulation go for the good of the state, and therefore, for the benefit of the entire Soviet people.