Lottery: The game of chance in which a prize is awarded by random selection. Lotteries are often used in decision-making situations, such as sports team drafts and the allocation of scarce medical treatment. They are also a popular form of gambling, encouraging people to pay small sums for the opportunity to win a large prize.
I’ve talked to many lottery players, people who play $50 or $100 a week and have been doing it for years. They defy the expectations you might have going into the conversation, that they don’t understand the odds and that they’re irrational. They don’t, but they do know that their odds of winning are long and they feel like it’s their last, best, or only chance at a new life.
One of the main reasons why people play the lottery is that they covet money and things that money can buy. God forbids coveting in the Bible, and yet it’s one of the most common human temptations. Lotteries exploit this temptation, luring people into playing by promising that they can solve all of their problems with the flick of a pen. Unfortunately, as Ecclesiastes teaches, such hopes are almost always empty. In the end, only God knows how much wealth will be distributed in this world and in what ways it will be used (see Ecclesiastes 5:10). Lotteries can be a tool for God to distribute His bounty and provide for those in need.