Lottery is a scheme for the distribution of prizes by lot or chance, especially a gaming scheme in which one or more tickets bearing particular numbers draw the prize and the rest are blank. [Wikipedia]

A game of chance in which participants buy numbered tickets and win prizes if their ticket matches the numbers randomly drawn by a machine. It may also refer to a process in which prizes are allocated, such as the drawing of lots for units in a subsidized housing block or kindergarten placements.

It is not clear how many people play lottery games based on an expectation that they will improve their financial situation. Some studies suggest that the probability of winning a lottery prize reduces as income increases, and other research indicates that the likelihood of playing a lottery declines with age. The reason is unclear, but it may be related to the fact that wealthier individuals tend to have more self-control and do not treat gambling as a rational economic act.

State governments have a strong incentive to promote the lottery to generate revenues for education and other public purposes. These revenues are usually viewed as a relatively painless alternative to raising taxes or cutting programs. However, the objective fiscal circumstances of a state do not seem to have much influence on whether or when it introduces a lottery and how it manages its operation. As the lottery continues to expand, it is important for states to consider its role in promoting problem gambling and financial instability, as well as its potential negative effects on poverty and social mobility.