Definition of lottery
1a : a drawing of lots in which prizes are distributed to the winners among persons buying a chanceb : a drawing of lots used to decide something
2 : an event or affair whose outcome is or seems to be determined by chance
Examples of lottery in a Sentence
They held a lottery to determine who could get a green card.
Room assignments are determined by lottery.
Life's a lottery, isn't it? It all depends on luck.
Recent Examples of lottery from the Web
In 2006, a federal jury in Montgomery convicted Siegelman of bribery for accepting a $500,000 contribution to his campaign to create a state education lottery from Richard Scrushy in exchange for an appointment to a hospital regulatory board.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Jamaican man accused of masterminding a lottery scam that victimized dozens of Americans out of millions of dollars has agreed to plead guilty in a deal with federal prosecutors in North Dakota.
The lottery that spring didn’t go in their favor and Anthony Davis went to New Orleans.
Each competing contrada gets its horse through a lottery and then showers it with love, washing and grooming it in a stable that’s more like a five-star hotel.
That hurdle may be a difficult one for those immigrants to overcome, as many visa lottery winners don't have relatives in the U.S. or jobs in advance of arriving in the country.
Currently, about $1.3 billion annually, or 27 percent of lottery funds, goes to public schools.
When a coach is rubbing his hands together on draft night because the team has two lottery picks and then learns that neither one will play for at least a year, that’s a test right there.
Romar brought in NBA lottery talent year after year, but went six straight seasons without making the tournament.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lottery.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of lottery
Middle French loterie, from Middle Dutch, from lot lot; akin to Old English hlot lot
First Known Use: 1567See Words from the same year
LOTTERY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of lottery for English Language Learners
: a way of raising money for a government, charity, etc., in which many tickets are sold and a few of the tickets are chosen by chance to win prizes
: a system used to decide who will get or be given something by choosing names or numbers by chance
: an event or situation in which what happens is decided by luck or chance
LOTTERY Defined for Kids
Definition of lottery for Students
: a way of raising money in which many tickets are sold and a few of these are drawn to win prizes
Seen and Heard
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