As you know, gambling was not welcomed in the Soviet Union. And if any lotteries were held, then only under strict state control. Therefore, "Sportloto" was especially popular in the USSR, it was a kind of outlet for gamers, especially since the player himself crossed out the numbers, which means, even purely theoretically, could somehow influence the game.
The first edition of "Sportloto" took place on October 20, 1970 in the capital's House of Journalists. Moreover, the usual lottery drum was not yet there, it was made only three years later. And in the first draw, Masha Obukhova, a schoolgirl from Moscow, spun the drum by hand, taking balls out of it. The very first of them had number 30. The lottery drum, a special apparatus that determines the winning numbers, did not exist in nature yet. It was created in the design bureau of the Academy of Sciences of the Estonian SSR only in 1973.
The state said that the goal of this lottery is noble - to raise money to prepare Moscow for the 1980 Olympic Games, as well as to begin construction of large sports facilities throughout the country. By the way, it was reported that the income from "Sportloto" accounted for about 70 percent of the Olympics budget - 80.
At first, only the circulation "6 out of 49" was carried out, then "5 out of 36" was added. Moreover, they were held on different days: "6 out of 49" - on Wednesday, and "5 out of 36" - on Saturday. Only at the beginning of the eighties, both draws were carried out on the same day. In 1986, the 6 out of 49 draw was changed to 6 out of 45, increasing the odds of winning by 30 percent.
Naturally, immediately after the appearance of the lottery, many inquisitive minds began to calculate their own strategies with which to increase the chance of winning. Even serious publications did not stand aside. In the magazine "Science and Life" No. 1 for 1980, an article "Psychology of Sportloto" was published, in which different versions of the game were analyzed.
But astrologers claim that Virgo and Capricorn are most often lucky. And it is better for Pisces and Cancers not to buy tickets for "Sportloto" - they have little chance of success. The same astrologers believe that it is better to buy tickets on certain days - on the 8th, 17th and 26th.
Winning Sportloto tickets were overpaid for people with unearned income. For them, it was an opportunity to "launder" money acquired illegally.
After the 1980 Olympics, the popularity of the lottery dropped markedly. Therefore, soon the comedy of Leonid Gaidai "Sportloto-82" was released on the screens of the country. The film could be called hidden advertising, which promoted the game "Sportloto". No wonder, the main character won 20, 000 rubles - a lot of money at that time.
The creators of the popular comedy admitted that the state was the main customer of this picture. But this did not prevent her from becoming popularly loved, in the first year alone the picture was watched by 55 million viewers.
In 2011, an attempt was made to revive the once very popular lottery, and use the entrusted funds to prepare for the 2014 Sochi Games. By the beginning of 2014, more than 10 million players took part in Sportloto. Not bad, but the former popularity is still very far away.