The Truth About the Lottery


The lottery is a game of chance in which people pay to have a chance to win a prize, typically money. The winning numbers or symbols are chosen by a random process, such as drawing lots, shaking, tossing, or using computers. The tickets are thoroughly mixed before the winners are selected; this is done to ensure that the choice of winners depends solely on chance.

The regressive nature of the lottery is obscured because it is promoted as a “game.” But the reality is that it costs most players a large fraction of their disposable income. In the case of the very poor, this is a significant share of their limited resources. In fact, the vast majority of lottery playing comes from households in the 21st through 60th percentiles of household income. This is why it is so difficult to stop playing, and it is why the advertising focuses on making it appear fun.

Americans spend over $80 Billion on lottery tickets every year – a large sum that could have been invested into a home, paid off debts, or used to build an emergency fund. In a world where many families are struggling to get by, this is a huge waste of money.

Lottery is not a good way to become rich – it is a loser’s game and should be avoided. Instead, we should focus on the things that God wants us to do – earn our wealth honestly and with diligence: “Lazy hands make for poverty; diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4).