The Truth About the Lottery


Lottery is a popular source of income in the United States, contributing billions annually. Many people play for fun, and some hope that their lives will improve if they win the lottery. However, God calls us to work hard to gain wealth (Proverbs 23:5). Lotteries are not the way to attain true wealth, and they often lure people into a life of materialism with promises of wealth without effort. This hope is futile and focuses the player on things that money cannot buy: “There is no joy in the possession of riches” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

In the 17th century, lotteries played a significant role in financing public ventures, including paving streets, building wharves, and providing for the construction of churches. Lotteries also helped fund a number of important private ventures in colonial America, including the foundation of Princeton and Columbia Universities, as well as the rebuilding of Faneuil Hall in Boston. During the French and Indian War, lotteries helped raise money for fortifications and local militia.

State-run lotteries have generally followed a similar pattern: the state legislates a monopoly; establishes a government agency or public corporation to run the lottery (as opposed to licensing a private company in exchange for a share of profits); launches with a modest number of relatively simple games; and, due to pressure from voters and suppliers, progressively expands its offerings.

The word lottery may be derived from the Dutch noun lot, meaning fate, or the casting of lots to determine a person’s fortune. The use of lots to make decisions and determine fates has a long history in human society, including several instances in the Bible.

You May Also Like

More From Author