Voltaire, the famous French philosopher owes part of his fortune to the lottery, the system of which he succeeded in diverting.


A great thinker

Although history has made Voltaire known as a great philosopher of the Enlightenment, he was once François-Marie Arouet, the rebellious and charismatic youngest boy of a French middle-class family. But however, nothing could let think that one could speak about Voltaire and the lottery. Because in addition to having become a writer and a great thinker who marked the 18th century, Voltaire was also very clever. He and his companion Charles Marie de La Condamine had found a scheme to win the lottery every time, and this, completely legally.

A jackpot of 500,000 francs

The government, having to repay debts quickly, lowered the price of lotto tickets. Finding that the total amount of the price of all the tickets on the market was cheaper than the 500,000 francs of the jackpot, Voltaire and a group of players bought all the available tickets at a lower cost. Of course, they won and shared the winnings. The operation is repeated several times which allows Voltaire to get rich quickly and gain the independence necessary for writing. An investigation is opened and a lawsuit is brought, but justice agrees with the partners because their operation is not illegal. Following this episode, the rules of the lottery are radically changed…!

A brilliant polemicist

With his biting pamphlets, Voltaire was a brilliant polemicist. He fights tirelessly for freedom, justice and the triumph of reason. Official poems allow him to enter the French Academy and the Court as historiographer of the king in 1746. However, irreverent verses force him to stay in the provinces, then cause his imprisonment in the Bastille (1717).

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