Choose a number, scratch a card, or open your lottery app, and try your luck at winning a prize. We are used to these common forms of lottery games, but what about some of the more unconventional ways to play? It turns out that people have gotten pretty creative over the years. Here are some of the world’s most unusual lottery games.

5. Montreal’s Voluntary $2 Donation

Old Montreal Quebec Canada Architecture

In the 1960’s, when lotteries were still illegal in Montreal, Quebec, a system was devised to allow people to pay a “voluntary $2 donation” in order to win prizes. Sounds suspiciously like the lottery, right?

In order to separate this system from the lottery, prizes were given out as silver bars instead of money and every entrant was required to correctly answer four questions about Montreal before a second drawing was done. This skill testing competition also determined the value of the prize.

4. Stockholm, Sweden’s Speed Camera Lottery

Stockholm, Sweden, has a speed camera lottery to encourage responsible driving. The speed cameras snap a shot of license plates obeying the speed laws as well as those breaking them. The license plates of all those who were obeying the speed laws are put in a lottery and a winner is drawn.

The prize money comes from the penalties the speeders have to pay for breaking the law, with a portion of all paid tickets going into the prize pool. What a great way to encourage people to slow down and obey traffic signs!

3. India’s Sterilization Lottery

Motorcycle in Front of Brick Wall

In order to address overpopulation in India, authorities have put together a “sterilization lottery“. Participation is totally voluntary and those who agree to be sterilized are given 600 rupees and are entered into a lottery to win prizes like televisions, motorcycles, food processors, and high end cars.

That’s one way to encourage responsible population management! The rationale may be sound, but it’s still pretty strange.

2. France’s Private Lotteries for Religious Orders

Saint Sulpice Paris France Church Architecture

For a long time, lottery games were outlawed in France. Near the end of the 17th century, the ban on lottery games was lifted. There were “public” lotteries for the general population of Paris and “private” lotteries, often held for religious orders, like nuns in a convent.

Lotteries even helped to build and rebuild churches like St. Sulpice and Le Panthéon.

1. France’s Lottery Based on Guillotine Executions

Guillotine, Historical Drawing

There are also reports that France made a lottery game based on guillotine executions. Each person waiting to be executed would have a number attached to their head and once all beheadings were complete the executioner would “draw” heads to collect the numbers. The onlooking crowd would have tickets with numbers and if they matched the executioner’s selection, they won a prize.

While we wouldn’t mind a lottery that promotes traffic safety, it’s much easier and more convenient to win remotely by playing Mega Millions and Powerball from any smart device with AutoLotto. Check out our website, Facebook, or Twitter to learn how you can get a free Powerball ticket by signing up and earn more by referring friends. A free ticket or two sounds a lot better than some of these bizarre lottery games.

Photos: AristicPhoto /, Songquan Deng /, Maatman /, Nikkolia /, Marco Saracco /, Everett Collection /

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