Lottery is a contest in which tickets are sold and the winners, who may be individuals or groups, receive prizes, ranging from small items to large sums of money. A lottery is considered a form of gambling and is subject to the laws of each jurisdiction. Prizes may be awarded through a random drawing of numbers or symbols. The drawing can be done manually or by using a computer. Typically, a percentage of the pool is deducted for costs and profits to organizers or sponsors, leaving the remainder available to winners.

In the United States, for example, people spent more than $100 billion on lottery tickets in 2021. It’s true that winning the lottery can be life-changing, but only if you’re lucky enough to buy a ticket. And even that’s not guaranteed—there is a greater chance of being struck by lightning than becoming a millionaire through the lottery.

The state’s argument for promoting lotteries is that it raises revenue for programs like education and health care. But I’ve never seen a statistic that shows how much that revenue is relative to overall state budgets. The other major message that states rely on is that the games are okay because they’re not going to stop people from gambling, and that you should feel good about buying a ticket for your chance at a better life. This is another variation of the lie that we are drawn to money and that if we have it, all our problems will disappear—a lie that runs counter to the biblical commandment not to covet.