Discover the Programme
NOT TO BE MISSED
An unprecedented initiative in Bruges in the Middle Ages would, unbeknownst to those involved, lay the foundations of what is known around the world as 'a lottery' 580 years later. At the time, Bruges was a thriving metropolis but a hefty fine imposed by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and the costs incurred by frequent rebellions, meant that alternative ways had to be found to fund causes that benefited the community without having to levy additional taxes. Like today, this was not a popular measure in the Middle Ages. The ingenious plan to organise a lottery with various prizes to collect voluntary contributions and use the proceeds to pay for collective needs proved to be a hit. This historic decision nearly 600 years ago would change the European lottery landscape forever.