How the game was invented

 

It is considered that the birthplace of the game is the Ancient China. Some information about this game can be found in ancient Chinese scrolls, dating back as far as 200 BC, which were carefully preserved and handed down from generation to generation. There is a legend saying that long ago, when the Chinese provinces were at war trying to redistribute their territories and the money to maintain the armies were not enough, the wise ruler of the Middle Kingdom of the Han dynasty took a pretty unusual decision. The ingenious monarch invented a game and successfully raised the funds needed to continue conducting and developing warfare. The income was used to maintain the huge Chinese army. Over time, the game became known as “Keno”. It is believed that with the money collected from Keno the Great Wall of China was built as well.

There is also another legend which is connected with the spread of writing. In order children to learn thousands of Chinese characters, it was invented a kind of the first manual, which was based on nursery rhymes. The poem contained thousand unique lines and was called “A thousand classic characters”. The poem has been used to teach children how to read and write. The fact that none of the thousand characters have been used more than once, makes it an amazing achievement. The signs were organized in rhymes and the poem was easy to remember but it was still hard enough to know it by heart. The poem became so popular, that some people used it in order to count from one to one thousand. It was the first one hundred and twenty characters of this poem  that became the basis of the new and very exciting game. In the beginning 120 characters were used in Keno but before the game was spread to other countries, the number was reduced to 90.

In order to inform people about the results of the game, a very interesting technique was used. To the remote areas of China were sent messenger -pigeons. In this regard, after a while the game became known as the “Lottery of the white pigeons”.

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