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Related to lottery: lotto


scheme for distributing prizes by lot or other method of chance selection to persons who have paid for the opportunity to win. The term is not applicable when lots are drawn without payment by the interested parties to determine some matter, e.g., the distribution of property among heirs. The absence of any element of skill or play distinguishes the lottery as a form of gambling. Under common law in England and the United States lotteries were lawful. They paid for many public buildings and founded and supported educational, charitable, and religious enterprises. Private lotteries, which were particularly susceptible to fraudulent practices, were first generally prohibited in the early 19th cent. Most publicly sponsored lotteries were discontinued not long afterward. With the adoption in 1890 of a federal statute prohibiting the transportation of lottery tickets or prizes by mail or in interstate commerce, the largest American state lottery—that of Louisiana—came to an end. It was not until more than 50 years later that state lotteries were again legalized in the United States, when New Hampshire authorized (1963) a sweepstakes lottery, the proceeds of which were to go to education. With the assistance of computers, 42 states and the District of Columbia now operate daily and weekly lotteries with huge payoffs; states also participate in regional and multistate lotteries, ranging from Tri-State Megabucks (Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont) to Powerball (with 31 states and territories). Often the lottery drawings are televised. Lotteries are also lawful in many other countries, some of which jointly operate multinational lotteries.



a voluntary form of revenue raising through the sale of lottery tickets; some percentage of the funds raised is raffled off in the form of money or other prizes. In one type of lottery, called a lotereia-allegri in Russian, lots are drawn immediately after a chance has been bought.

In the USSR lotteries are authorized by the Council of Ministers of the USSR or the council of ministers of a Union republic. In the first years of the Soviet power, lotteries were arranged by the local soviet or social organizations to attract funds from the population for cultural, educational, and other purposes. Since 1926 lotteries organized by various voluntary agencies, such as the Society for the Promotion of Defense and Aviation and Chemical Construction, the Red Cross, and the Red Crescent, have been popular. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45 funds were raised by state lotteries to finance the strengthening of the country’s defense. From 1958, state lotteries (including money or prize lotteries, sports lotteries, lotteries put on by the All-Union Voluntary Society for Cooperation With the Army, Air Force, and Navy of the USSR, and lotteries of works of art) are organized in the Union republics, with the income from these lotteries going to the state budgets of the republics.

In other socialist countries (for example, Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Rumania, and Czechoslovakia), money lotteries are conducted on a large scale. Local state agencies and social organizations also organize money lotteries.

In capitalist countries, lotteries are organized by municipalities, voluntary social agencies, and local institutions; some countries (Italy and France) conduct state lotteries.


1. a method of raising money by selling numbered tickets and giving a proportion of the money raised to holders of numbers drawn at random
2. a similar method of raising money in which players select a small group of numbers out of a larger group printed on a ticket. If a player's selection matches some or all of the numbers drawn at random the player wins a proportion of the prize fund
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1998-99, the allotment was $122 per student, the year before, $115, lottery officials said.
5 billion lottery bond program for educational facilities to be supported by $180 million annual appropriations from the EETF.
It's unusual for state lotteries to use published artists in their lottery designs, but this season Scott's work has become the rage, according to the company that prints lottery tickets for states across the nation.
While this ruling gave some discretion to the Lottery Commission as to how they will honor the judicial mandate to correct their violation of law, we believe the only proper course is through our elected representatives in a deliberative and public legislative process," states Nicholas Roxborough, partner of RPN and the lead attorney who argued the case for the petitioners in December of last year.
California's lottery has twice the work force of New York's lottery, for example, but less than half the sales.
NMLS plans to offer dozens of video lottery games plus multi-million dollar progressive jackpots in contracted countries across mobile, Internet, and retail channels with jackpots in excess of $2 million per week and also plans to partner with charity lotteries in many markets to gain first-mover advantage.
Furthermore, the lawsuit states that proponents of the California State Lottery Act of 1984 assured voters the lottery would be strictly limited to and administrated only by California.
The Legislature's legal counsel has firmly and publicly opined that the Commission lacked the legal authority to join the Mega Millions lottery while the Attorney General's Office, upon the request of the Commission, issued two "informal" confidential advice letters concluding the Commission probably had the implied authority to do so.
This medium is ideal for the distribution of new and fun lottery products, and we are confident that this channel will raise significant funds for our training, employment, health and social care services to people with disabilities and those who are socially disadvantaged.
The Lottery Act is very clear, the California Lottery has the legal right to offer a lotto type game without the approval of the State Legislature," said Chon Gutierrez, Acting Director of the California State Lottery.