Abulfeda (p. 184, 189) describes the splendour and liberality of Almamon. Milton has alluded to this Oriental custom: -
Or where the gorgeous East, with richest hand,
Showers on her kings Barbaric pearls and gold.
I have used the modern word lottery to express the Missilia of the Roman emperors, which entitled to some prize the person who caught them, as they were thrown among the crowd.