The lottery is a contest that offers a prize of a small amount of money or other goods, with the chances of winning being extremely slim. It has been criticized as an addictive form of gambling, and it is not uncommon for people who win large sums to find themselves worse off than before. Nevertheless, it remains an important source of funding for many projects, both private and public. It was used, for example, to fund the construction of many roads and canals in colonial America, as well as the building of Princeton and Columbia Universities. It also provided a convenient mechanism for raising voluntary taxes, which were used in lieu of conventional taxation during the Revolutionary War.
This is a great video to use with students, to explain the concept of the lottery and its history. It is a bit overly simplistic, but it provides a good overview of the basic concepts.
If you have entered for more than one place, please make sure you only select one ticket per time slot! If you don’t receive a ticket, try again in a later drawing.
The word “lottery” comes from Middle Dutch loterie, a compound of the words lot and terie. It is believed to be a calque on the Middle Dutch noun lot meaning “fate,” or perhaps on Old English hlot meaning “share, portion, gift” (compare Old Frisian hlut, German Los). Regardless of its etymology, the idea behind a lottery is that the distribution of something is determined by chance.