What is a Lottery?


A lottery is a game of chance in which numbers or symbols are drawn to determine a prize. It is usually sponsored by a government or private organization as a means of raising funds. The word “lottery” derives from the Dutch noun lot, meaning fate or fortune, and English noun draw. The lottery is a form of gambling and is illegal in some jurisdictions.

People are lured into playing the lottery by promises that their lives will improve if they hit the jackpot. These promises are empty and violate God’s commandment not to covet money or the things that money can buy (Exodus 20:17; 1 Timothy 6:10). People who win the lottery are prone to covet the things they have won. They are also tempted to spend their winnings on more and more tickets, leading to debt and bankruptcy.

Lottery players as a group contribute billions to state coffers that could be used to provide a social safety net for working families and the poor. They buy lottery tickets with the mistaken belief that they are not gambling, but they are contributing to a system that is rigged in favor of the wealthy and big business. Americans should instead save the money they spend on lottery tickets for emergency funds, or to pay down their credit card debt.