Keno has an interesting story. The popularity of this game is due to the nature of the game.
The modern-day version of Keno has a sheet with numbers 1 to 8.
Players will then have to place bets on their choice on that very sheet.
Afterwards, 20 numbers are drawn randomly.
Many methods are used to generate the numbers. A player wins if they have enough correct numbers. Also, the win is determined by the size of the bet they have placed.
There are many stories and poems in China that describe how Keno has been used to raise money. To note, there is the story of Cheung Leung of the Han dynasty. It is said that he created and used Keno to fund his war. This was around 200BC.
Then, the game involved choosing characters from a sheet. The sheet contained between 80 and 120 characters.
Interestingly, it’s said that the game was even used to buy food for the city. Also, it was used to raise money for soldiers.
Soon, the game spread, engulfing the whole nation in the gambling frenzy. At that point, the people started using pigeons to deliver results of games to rural areas. As a result, the game was rightfully named the ‘white pigeon ticket’. As far as we know, this was the earliest recorded national lottery.
Amazingly, it’s said that the funds from Keno were then used to construct the 20,000km lo Great Wall of China. This is all said to have happened back in the 17th century. Also, other claims say Keno helped children learn Chinese alphabet characters.
Interesting Facts about Keno History
The stories of how the game may be diverse and wide. However, there are a few well-known facts. These are:
- China outlawed lotteries before the 19th century
- In the 1800s is when the game resurfaced in San Francisco
- The game was shipped to the Pacific by Chinese immigrants who went there to work on the transcontinental railroad
- The game became quite popular among Americans, speeding its popularity
- The earlier Chinese characters were then traded for Arabic numerals
- The game became very popular in Texas by 1866