What is a Lottery?

A competition based on chance in which numbered tickets are sold and prizes given to the holders of numbers selected at random; especially one sponsored by a state or other organization as a means of raising funds.

Lottery has a long record in human history, including several instances in the Bible. The distribution of land and even slaves by lottery goes back to ancient times, but the modern public lottery is relatively new. Its popularity and success has been based on the argument that it is a painless source of revenue for states and other governments.

Critics argue that it is addictive, causing players to spend money that they would otherwise save or invest in other ways. They also contend that it tends to concentrate wealth among a very small minority of the population and can cause serious financial hardship for the majority.

The practice of winning large amounts of money through the lottery is not only immoral, but it also deceives people and focuses them on temporary riches (see Ecclesiastes 7:13). It lures people into a cycle of accumulating wealth and then spending it unwisely in order to become rich again. God wants us to earn our money honestly through hard work, not to seek it as a prize to be won through chance. Instead, we are to trust Him for our provision, knowing that He knows our needs (Matthew 6:33). Lottery can lead people to covet money and the things that money can buy, which is against Scripture (Exodus 20:17; Proverbs 24:24). The vast majority of lottery players come from middle-income neighborhoods.