A lottery is a game in which numbers are drawn to determine a winner. Prizes vary from money to goods and services. People have long used lotteries to raise funds, with the first recorded lotteries appearing in the Low Countries in the 15th century, when towns held public lotteries to finance town fortifications and help the poor. People also bought lotteries in the United States to raise funds for the Continental Congress and for early American colleges (Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, William and Mary, Union, and Brown).
Many people enjoy playing lottery games, even though they know that the odds of winning are low. The appeal of winning a large sum of money and all it will buy is powerful. People also love to fantasize about what they would do with millions of dollars.
Lottery is one of the world’s most popular forms of gambling, and it is a significant source of state revenues. States advertise the prizes of lottery games on billboards alongside highways, and people spend billions of dollars on tickets. Whether it is worth the cost to state budgets is debatable, however.
The Bible forbids covetousness, and people who play the lottery tend to be covetous of money and all it can purchase. They believe that if they can win the lottery, all their problems will be solved. The truth is that winning the lottery will only provide temporary riches. It is far better to earn wealth honestly through hard work, as God has commanded: “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring riches” (Proverbs 23:5).