lottery

noun, often attributive
lot·​tery | \ ˈlä-tə-rē also ˈlä-trē How to pronounce lottery (audio) \
plural lotteries

Definition of lottery

1a : a drawing of lots in which prizes are distributed to the winners among persons buying a chance
b : 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Here are Saturday’s winning lottery numbers: 12-29-34-53-65, Powerball: 23, PowerPlay: 2X A single ticket worth $80 million was sold in Michigan on Sept. 21, causing the jackpot to reset. National Desk, cleveland, "Powerball numbers: Check those tickets to see if you won Saturday’s $90 million lottery jackpot," 13 Oct. 2019 Here are Saturday’s winning lottery numbers: 05-12-20-21-47, Powerball: 01, PowerPlay: X2 The jackpot reset after a single winner claimed a $149 million prize on August 17. National Desk, cleveland.com, "Powerball numbers: Did you win Saturday’s $50 million lottery jackpot?," 24 Aug. 2019 The crowd behind Escudero jumped and chanted with their lottery tickets in hand. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON — A Spanish television reporter appeared to celebrate and quit her job on live television after realizing she had a winning lottery ticket. It was a decision for which she would later apologize.," 27 Dec. 2019 Pure discovery is a lottery ticket business that exists in the biopharma industry only because of its incredibly high value and the potential to save millions of lives. Vijay Pande, STAT, "Welcome to the bioengineering culture clash," 10 Jan. 2020 Attempting to fake a lottery ticket is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Two arrested after winning lottery numbers glued to ticket," 7 Jan. 2020 Felhaber is a bit of a lottery ticket for the Stars. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Notebook from Cedar Park: Joel L’Esperance’s hot streak, the Emil Djuse-Joel Hanley pair and more," 6 Jan. 2020 The crowd behind Escudero jumped and chanted with their lottery tickets in hand. BostonGlobe.com, "WASHINGTON — A Spanish television reporter appeared to celebrate and quit her job on live television after realizing she had a winning lottery ticket. It was a decision for which she would later apologize.," 27 Dec. 2019 The crowd behind Escudero jumped and chanted with their lottery tickets in hand. Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, "A reporter won the lottery and quit her job, live on air — only to find the payout was about $5,500," 26 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of lottery

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lottery

Middle French loterie, from Middle Dutch, from lot lot; akin to Old English hlot lot

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Time Traveler for lottery

Time Traveler

The first known use of lottery was in 1567

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Statistics for lottery

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lottery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lottery. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for lottery

lottery

noun
How to pronounce lottery (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lottery

: 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

noun
lot·​tery | \ ˈlä-tə-rē How to pronounce lottery (audio) \
plural lotteries

Kids Definition of lottery

: a way of raising money in which many tickets are sold and a few of these are drawn to win prizes

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More from Merriam-Webster on lottery

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lottery

Spanish Central: Translation of lottery

Nglish: Translation of lottery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lottery for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lottery

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