• WordNet 3.6
    • n lottery players buy (or are given) chances and prizes are distributed by casting lots
    • n lottery something that is regarded as a chance event "the election was just a lottery to them"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: 27% of female lottery winners hid their winning ticket in their bras
    • Lottery A scheme for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance; esp., a gaming scheme in which one or more tickets bearing particular numbers draw prizes, and the rest of the tickets are blanks.
    • Lottery Allotment; thing allotted.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Over 50% of lottery players go back to work after winning the jackpot
    • n lottery Distribution of anything by lot; allotment; also, the drawing of lots; determination by chance or fate; random choice; matter of chance: as, the lottery of life.
    • n lottery A scheme for raising money by selling chances to share in a distribution of prizes; more specifically, a scheme for the distribution of prizes by chance among persons purchasing tickets, the correspondingly numbered slips, or lots, representing prizes or blanks, being drawn from a wheel on a day previously announced in connection with the scheme of intended prizes. In law the term lottery embraces all schemes for the distribution of prizes by chance, such as policy-playing, gift-exhibitions, prize-concerts, raffles at fairs, etc., and includes various forms of gambling. Most of the governments of the continent of Europe have at different periods raised money for public purposes by means of lotteries; and a small sum was raised in America during the Revolution by a lottery authorized by the Continental Congress. Both state and private lotteries have been forbidden by law in Great Britain and in nearly all of the United States, Louisiana and Kentucky being the two notable exceptions.
    • n lottery The lot or portion falling to one's share; a chance allotment or prize.
    • n lottery A children's picture or print.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: You are more likely to win the state lottery than to be attacked by a shark.
    • n Lottery lot′ėr-i a distribution of prizes by lot or chance: a game of chance.
    • ***


  • Lord Byron
    “All are inclined to believe what they covet, from a lottery-ticket up to a passport to Paradise.”
  • Adam Smith
    “Adventure upon all the tickets in the lottery, and you lose for certain; and the greater the number of your tickets the nearer your approach to this certainty.”
  • Le Sage
    Le Sage
    “The losses as well as the prizes must be drawn from the cheating lottery of life.”
  • F. M. Knowles
    F. M. Knowles
    “Marriage is a lottery, but you can't tear up your ticket if you lose.”
  • Madame De Rieux
    Madame De Rieux
    “Marriage is a lottery in which men stake their liberty and women their happiness.”
  • Queen Victoria
    “I think people really marry far too much; it is such a lottery after all, and for a poor woman a very doubtful happiness.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Lot, + -ery, as in brewery, bindery,


In literature:

He had heard of the yearly Lottery, but had only a vague idea of its significance.
"The Status Civilization" by Robert Sheckley
The prizes of the lottery of L'Ingots d'Or were drawn in the Champs Elysees on the 16th.
"The International Monthly Magazine, Volume 5, No. 1, January, 1852" by Various
Ah, Mr Lorton," went on Lady Dasher, with a sad expressive shake of her head, "marriage is a sad lottery, a sad lottery!
"She and I, Volume 1" by John Conroy Hutcheson
In all the lotteries of the literary life none is so uncertain as this.
"The Bibliotaph" by Leon H. Vincent
Franklin suggested a lottery, to raise money, and went to New York to borrow guns.
"Benjamin Franklin" by John Torrey Morse, Jr.
Treat them as we treated the Louisiana lottery.
"Civics and Health" by William H. Allen
To think and to say that greatness is a lottery, is pernicious.
"Comic History of the United States" by Bill Nye
This last is one of the most corrupting of all lotteries.
"Mexico and its Religion" by Robert A. Wilson
He was, however, disappointed in his hopes; but the lady soon dying, gave him an opportunity of again trying the lottery of matrimony.
"The Missing Ship" by W. H. G. Kingston
I drew a prize in the lottery of marriage.
"Gryll Grange" by Thomas Love Peacock
Two of these lotteries apparently were drawn.
"The University of Michigan" by Wilfred Shaw
It is quite a lottery on both sides.
"Newton Forster" by Captain Frederick Marryat
Mary Billings, opposite the Governor's, sold lottery tickets in 1761.
"The Olden Time Series, Vol. 4: Quaint and Curious Advertisements" by Henry M. Brooks
The others we must look upon as the prizes in the lottery.
"Held Fast For England" by G. A. Henty
He wished to invest in lottery tickets, and asked me for lucky numbers, which I gave him.
"Memoirs" by Charles Godfrey Leland
And if he wishes to buy, it is worse than a lottery.
"Plotting in Pirate Seas" by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
The scheme was very ingenious; it was, in fact, a lottery in which you only paid for your ticket when you had drawn a prize.
"Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864" by Charles Lever
You all know what a lottery it is.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Life in the old Orient was a gigantic lottery.
"The New World of Islam" by Lothrop Stoddard
Much deception was practised in those private lotteries.
"Customs and Fashions in Old New England" by Alice Morse Earle

In poetry:

'A ticket for the lottery
I've purchased every week,' said she
'For years a score
Though desperately poor am I,
Oh how I've scrimped and scraped to buy
One chance more.
"Lottery Ticket" by Robert W Service
"For the camp has gone wild
On this lottery game,
And has even beguiled
'Injin Dick' by the same."
Then said Nye to me, "Injins is pizen:
But what is his number, eh, James?"
"Further Language From Truthful James" by Francis Bret Harte
He came down to the Ford
On the very same day
Of that lottery drawed
By those sharps at the Bay;
And he says to me, "Truthful, how goes it?"
I replied, "It is far, far from gay;
"Further Language From Truthful James" by Francis Bret Harte
Ah! Life,-- so changeful, yet so dull and tame,
I dread and doubt thee, while I must despise thee,
So lotteried, and still so blank the same,
I wait and hope, despairing while I prize thee.
"What We All Feel" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
This warld is a lottery, as ilk ane may ken;
There are prizes for women as weel as for men:
But as far as my faither and mither can see,
Though the're prizes for some, there aye blanks for me!
"To Get A Man" by Hector MacNeill

In news:

Rob Anderson, right, with wife Tuesday claim $128.6 million in the Powerball lottery in Louisville, Ky.
A bank of video lottery machines.
What exactly are Video Lottery Terminals.
Not after the custodian won the Washington State lottery to the tune of $3.41 million five years ago.
Carolina Furdui claimed $250,000 at Idaho Lottery headquarters in Boise this morning from a Mega Millions ticket bought for the historic draw of the $656 million jackpot on March 30, 2012.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is proud to present Arkansas's Natural State Jackpot game starting today (Monday) August 27.
Education Lottery netted $1.5B in sales.
NC Education Lottery netted $1.5B in sales.
An audit of the North Carolina Education Lottery shows the agency took in $1.5 billion in sales in fiscal 2012.
Council leader confident that kindergarten lottery is unlikely.
North Dakota's Game and Fish Department says all of the state's nonresident any-deer bow hunting licenses have been issued through a lottery drawing.
TUALATIN — The Trail Blazers resumed predraft workouts Thursday at the practice facility in Tualatin with a group of six college prospects who are not expected to be selected in the NBA Draft lottery.
325-million lottery payout draws people who don't normally play.
Lotteries Show That Through Sheer Numbers, the Uncanny Happens.
People love to gamble, as the spread of casinos and state lotteries makes clear.

In science:

Take for example, a default version [Poole, 1989] of the probabilistic lottery paradox [Kyburg, 1961].
Evaluating Defaults
What the lottery paradox tells us about default reasoning.
Evaluating Defaults
True random numbers have significant applications in numerical simulation, lottery games, biological systems and cryptography .
Semi-device independent random number expansion without entanglement
Bernoulli, in a letter to Montmort in 1713 [Montmort(1713)], introduced lotteries of a certain type. D.
Menger 1934 revisited
Later researchers found it “paradoxical” that, in general, individuals offered to purchase a ticket in this lottery are not willing to pay very much for it, namely no more than a few dollars, rather than their entire fortunes or indeed all the money they can borrow.
Menger 1934 revisited
Thus, in (Eq. 2), which is an ensemble average of a logarithmic growth rate (the time unit being one lottery game), the time-limit is implicitly taken first.
Menger 1934 revisited
The quantity, Bernoulli suggested, that people consider when deciding whether to take part in the lottery is a combination of the expected gain in their utility and the loss in utility they suffer when they purchase a ticket.
Menger 1934 revisited
The first terms on either side of the equation represent the expected gain in logarithmic utility, resulting from the payouts of the lottery.
Menger 1934 revisited
The second terms represent the loss in logarithmic utility suffered at the time of purchase, i.e. after the ticket is bought but before any payout from the lottery is received.
Menger 1934 revisited
What if the lottery is a scam? It can lead to nonsensical results if a future gain greater than the player’s wealth is certain, see Section 6.1.
Menger 1934 revisited
For instance, any real-life lottery, where a ticket is purchased and with a small probability something is won, is recommended by this criterion.
Menger 1934 revisited
Laplace introduced an nmax in game A, but chose to end the lottery and return nothing after nmax successive tails events[Laplace(1814)], p. 440.
Menger 1934 revisited
S (Φ)| of satisfying assignments behaves like a “lottery ”: its exp ectation is driven up by a tiny fraction of “lucky ” formulas with wmaj much bigger than expected.
Going after the k-SAT Threshold
The explanation for this is that even if we fix d, various other types of fluctuations remain, turning |S (Φd )| into a “lottery ”.
Going after the k-SAT Threshold
The result is unlike a lottery, where purchasing a ticket (detecting a J P C -exotic meson) gives you a winning chance (an explicit gluonic excitation in the spectrum).
Non quark-antiquark light meson spectroscopy