The Great Wall of China is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. The breathtaking structure is visible from space and stretches from 5,500 miles. But did you know that the Great Wall of China was built using the money derived from a game of Keno? In this article, we’re going to talk about this theory and see whether there’s any truth in it.
What is Keno?
Invented nearly 2,000 years ago in China, Keno has remained popular to this day. Many modern casinos offer this game, although it can also be found in some lotteries. Players place their bets on the numbers from 1 to 80. Once the wagering has been done, twenty numbers are randomly drawn. Players receive payouts based on how many numbers were drawn, the number of matches, and their bet size. Typically, each casino has its own paytable, so prizes can differ from one gambling venue to another. Keno is a game with a rather large house edge, at least when compared to other games. In most cases, the house edge is between 4% and 35%.
As we mentioned, the game of Keno was invented in China. According to a legend, the invention of Keno saved a city during an ancient war. The game became so popular that it played a vital role in raising funds for constructing the Great Wall of China. The idea was ahead of its time, as using lotteries to fund public institutions wasn’t accepted until the late 1800s.
The first lottery document in China originated from the mid-nineteenth century when the Portuguese government of Macao issued a license to lottery operators in this territory.
In ancient times, Keno was played using printed sheets with Chinese characters. Usually, these were the first eighty characters from the Thousand Character Classic, a poem used to teach children Chinese characters. Keno arrived in the West thanks to Chinese immigrants who came to the US to build the First Transcontinental Railroad.
The game, known as “pick-apu” and “boc hop bu”, quickly became popular and, by the mid-1860s, was a common game in Texan casinos, albeit under its modern name.
Both Keno and the Great Wall of China have endured the test of time. It doesn’t matter whether the popular game helped build the Wall, it still stands, and Keno is loved by lottery and casino players around the world. And by the looks of it, this won’t change anytime soon.
The legend says that Cheung Leung, the ruler of the Chinese Han Dynasty, spent all his money to fund a long war. With no resources, he had no way of finding more funds to end the war. He raised the taxes, but that wasn’t a viable solution.
What did he do? Cheung Leung invented a lottery-type game called Keno. It quickly grew in popularity, helping him end his war. But the story doesn’t end there. As the legend says, the same method was used during the construction of the Great Wall of China.
But is the legend true? No historical evidence supports this claim, although it doesn’t sound far-fetched. Desperate times call for desperate measures.