The Dangers of Lottery


The lottery is a type of gambling game in which people purchase tickets for a chance to win a prize, typically money. Governments often organize lotteries to raise funds for a wide range of uses. They are a popular source of income in an anti-tax era and have been praised as a “painless form of taxation.”

The first European lotteries appeared in 15th-century Burgundy and Flanders with towns trying to raise money for fortifications, aid to the poor, and other municipal needs. The name “lottery” probably derives from the Dutch word lot meaning fate, though some scholars think it is a calque on Middle French loterie, a corruption of the Latin verb lottare, meaning “to draw lots.”

In modern lotteries, the prize fund can be either a fixed amount or a percentage of total receipts. Usually the prize pool includes a large jackpot and a number of smaller prizes. The total value of the prize is often lower than the actual cost of putting on the lottery, which may include a share of profits for the promoter and promotional costs.

Although many people play the lottery, the chances of winning are very low. Those who do win face enormous taxes, and sometimes find themselves worse off than before. Despite the odds, Americans spend billions of dollars on lottery tickets each year. Educating kids & teens about the dangers of lottery can help prevent addiction and other problems. This video is an excellent resource for teaching kids & teens about lotteries and could be used as part of a money & personal finance class or lesson.