What is a Lottery?


A lottery is a form of gambling in which winners are selected by chance through a drawing. It is a popular method for governments to raise money to finance projects such as road construction, social welfare programs and sports teams.

A bettor purchases a ticket and writes his name on it or some other mark that indicates the amount staked. The ticket is then deposited with the lottery organization for shuffling and possible selection in a drawing. Some modern lotteries involve computerized scrubbing and other randomizing procedures. The bettor may be permitted to view the pool of tickets after shuffling and see if his or her number is among those selected.

The lottery has been used for centuries to raise money for public works, including town walls and fortifications, as well as to reward soldiers and sailors for military service. Its popularity in the post-World War II period grew as states sought to expand their array of services without onerous taxes on middle and working class people.

This video explains the concept of lottery in a clear, concise way that is suitable for kids & teens as well as adults. It could be used by teachers & parents as part of a money & personal finance lesson plan or classroom curriculum.

Americans spend over $80 Billion on the lottery each year. This money could be put to better use in an emergency fund or paying off debt. Those who win a lottery have to pay taxes on their winnings, too, which makes it even more of an irrational gamble.