The Odds of Winning a Lottery


The earliest recorded lotteries in the world were public ones in the Low Countries. These public lotteries were often used to fund town fortifications, or to distribute to the poor. Some records suggest that lotteries were much older than that. A record from 1445 in the Low Countries town of L’Ecluse, France, mentions a lottery for four hundred and thirty-four florins, which is equivalent to about US$170,000 today.

Historical perspective

The lottery, as a ritual, has always been controversial. It is a symbol of male dominance, suppressing a woman’s personal identity and forcing her to submit her sexuality to a man. This is particularly problematic when you consider that women are often viewed as a part of nature and fertile earth. But the lottery has also been interpreted as a feminist trope. Its many feminist critics point to its problematic legacy.

Game of chance

The lottery is a game of chance, meaning the outcome depends on the luck of the draw. Historically, the lottery was used to fund major government projects. Chinese lottery slips dating back to 205 BC and 187 BC mention the game’s use as a way to raise funds for major public projects. The Chinese Book of Songs also makes mention of the game’s use in raising funds. Today, lottery games are played all over the world, from casinos to lottery rooms in courtrooms.

Probability of winning

This article examines the odds of winning a lottery. The authors are Michael Edwardson, Elizabeth Cowley, and Colin Farrell. They are editors of E – European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7.

Scratch games

A common form of gambling are scratch cards. Scratch cards, also called instant tickets, are designed to be scratched to reveal hidden information. While they are typically made of plastic or thin cardstock, the underlying concept is the same – you can win by revealing a concealed information. Some of these instant tickets offer big prizes, but do not offer cash lump sums. For this reason, scratch games are often less expensive than instant tickets.


Syndicates in lottery games are groups of people who buy and share tickets. Typically, they are cheaper than individual tickets. These groups are also called blocks or lines and all shares have a single unique number. Syndicates are a great way to bond with new people and share money. There are pros and cons to syndicating. One major downside is that the speculation that goes along with playing the lottery can be a nightmare.