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What is the Lottery?

A game in which tickets are sold and prizes, usually cash, are drawn at random. The prize amounts may be small or large. People often play the lottery in order to obtain a desirable item, such as a car or house. It is a form of gambling, and some governments regulate it. A similar process, called sampling, is used in some situations to determine which individuals will be included in a group such as a medical study or sports team draft.

Lottery players often buy one ticket a week, and they are disproportionately lower-income and less educated. They are also largely nonwhite and male. Lottery games are advertised as painless ways for states to raise money. But that message is misleading, because winning the lottery is a highly risky activity. A person’s odds of winning are much smaller than those of buying a house with the help of a mortgage broker or a job with a company.

The Bible warns against coveting money and things that money can purchase. Lottery participants are often lured into the game with the promise that their problems will disappear if they win a big jackpot. But the lottery is statistically futile, and the Bible teaches that God wants people to earn their money honestly by working hard (see Proverbs 25:27).

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