A lottery is a contest where players buy tickets and have a random (and low) chance of winning. Finding true love and getting hit by lightning are often said to be as likely as winning the lottery.

A lottery can be a state-run contest promising big bucks to the lucky winners, or a lottery can also be any contest where the winners are selected at random. For example, some schools choose students by using a lottery system. Regardless of the type of lottery, a lottery works where there is great demand for something and only a limited number of winners.

Definitions of lottery
  1. noun
    players buy (or are given) chances and prizes are distributed by casting lots
    synonyms: drawing
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    a lottery in which tickets are drawn from a revolving drum
    lucky dip
    a game in which prizes (e.g., candies or coins) are concealed in a container and for a small sum a player can draw one out at random
    numbers, numbers game, numbers pool, numbers racket
    an illegal daily lottery
    a lottery in which the prizes are goods rather than money
    a lottery in which the prize consists of the money paid by the participants
    type of:
    gambling game, game of chance
    a game that involves gambling
  2. noun
    something that is regarded as a chance event
    “the election was just a lottery to them”
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    type of:
    accident, chance event, fortuity, stroke
    anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause
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