A lottery is a form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize.

Lottery is outlawed by some governments, while others endorse it to the extent of organizing a national or state lottery. It is common to find some degree of regulation of lottery by governments. At the beginning of the 20th century, most forms of gambling, including lotteries and sweepstakes, were illegal in many countries, including the U.S.A. and most of Europe. This remained so until after World War II. In the 1960s casinos and lotteries began to appear throughout the world as a means to raise revenue in addition to taxes.

Lotteries come in many formats. For example, the prize can be a fixed amount of cash or goods. In this format there is risk to the organizer if insufficient tickets are sold. More commonly the prize fund will be a fixed percentage of the receipts. A popular form of this is the "50–50" draw where the organizers promise that the prize will be 50% of the revenue. Many recent lotteries allow purchasers to select the numbers on the lottery ticket, resulting in the possibility of multiple winners.

The purchase of lottery tickets cannot be accounted for by decision models based on expected value maximization. The reason is that lottery tickets cost more than the expected gain, so one maximizing expected value should not buy lottery tickets. Yet, lottery purchases can be explained by decision models based on expected utility maximization, as the curvature of the utility function can be adjusted to capture risk-seeking behavior. More general models based on utility functions defined on things other than the lottery outcomes can also account for lottery purchase. In addition to the lottery prizes, the ticket may enable some purchasers to experience a thrill and to indulge in a fantasy of becoming wealthy. If the entertainment value (or other non-monetary value) obtained by playing is high enough for a given individual, then the purchase of a lottery ticket could represent a gain in overall utility. In such a case, the disutility of a monetary loss could be outweighed by the combined expected utility of monetary and non-monetary gain, thus making the purchase a rational decision for that individual.

Read more about Lottery:  Early History, Probability of Winning, Expected Value, Social Corruption, Lotteries in Popular Culture, Notable Prizes, Payment of Prizes, Rollovers and Roll Downs, Non-randomness

Other articles related to "lottery":

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... China China Welfare Lottery, China Sports Lottery Hong Kong Mark Six Israel Mifal HaPayis Japan Takarakuji (宝くじ) Lebanon La Libanaise des Jeux Macau ... Turkey Various games by the National Lottery Administration under the name of Milli Piyango including Loto 6/49 and jackpots Vietnam Xổ số kiến thiết ...
South African National Lottery - Lottery Gameplay
... The South African National Lottery main draw is called Lotto 6/49 and as the name implies you must choose 6 out of a 49 possible numbers, to win the ... Tickets for the South African National Lottery cost R3.50 and in addition to choosing your own numbers there is also a quickpick option where the lottery terminal choose the numbers for you ... The Lottery also offers a Lotto Plus option where you can get a second chance to win for an additional cost ...
Lotteries By Country - Country Details - United States
... the existence of lotteries is subject to the laws of each jurisdiction there is no national lottery ... The oldest continuing government-run lottery in the US was established in Puerto Rico in 1934 the oldest continuing lottery on the US mainland began in 1964 in New Hampshire ... Rico, and the Virgin Islands The first modern US mult-jurisdictional lottery was formed in 1985, linking Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont ...
Lottery - Non-randomness
... in "Tic-Tac-Toe" tickets sold by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation ... multi-million dollar jackpots in Texas—three of which came from purchasing scratch-off lottery tickets ...
Lotteries By Country
... A lottery is a form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize ... Lottery is outlawed by some governments, while others endorse it to the extent of organizing a national or state lottery ... It is common to find some degree of regulation of lottery by governments ...

Famous quotes containing the word lottery:

    I think people really marry far too much; it is such a lottery after all, and for a poor woman a very doubtful happiness.
    Victoria (1819–1901)

    The recent attempt to secure a charter from the State of North Dakota for a lottery company, the pending effort to obtain from the State of Louisiana a renewal of the charter of the Louisiana State Lottery, and the establishment of one or more lottery companies at Mexican towns near our border, have served the good purpose of calling public attention to an evil of vast proportions.
    Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901)