The Dark Side of Lottery


A live draw toto macau game in which a number of prizes, from small items to large sums of money, are allocated by chance to ticket-holders after a drawing. The process is usually regulated by government officials to ensure fairness and legality. The word lottery comes from the practice of casting lots to determine distribution of property in ancient times, and it was a popular form of raising funds for a wide range of public usages from its first appearance, until it was replaced by other, more efficient methods. The oldest running lottery in the world is in the Netherlands, which was founded in 1726.

In modern times, lotteries are usually marketed as a fun and harmless way to pass the time or raise money for charity. But there is a dark side to the game that most people are unaware of, and that is how it can contribute to covetousness. Many people who play the lottery are convinced that winning the big prize will solve their problems. However, God’s Word warns against this type of greed (Exodus 20:17). Instead, we should seek His kingdom and His righteousness (1 Peter 2:14).

The first recorded examples of lotteries are keno slips from the Chinese Han dynasty, between 205 and 187 BC. It is believed that these helped to fund major projects like the Great Wall of China. During the Roman Empire, it was common for wealthy noblemen to give away property or slaves by lot as an entertainment at their dinner parties and other revelries. Later, it became common in Europe to organize public lotteries for a variety of purposes, including the distribution of prizes for various social events and even the purchase of land for cities. In the United States, public lotteries are now very popular and are a major source of funding for education.

There are also private lotteries, where people buy chances to win a prize of some kind by a random process. The stock market is an example of a lottery in that the winners are determined by a process that relies entirely on chance.

The biggest problem with all lotteries is that they are a form of gambling, and it is against the Bible’s teaching to gamble. It is easy to lose control over one’s finances when one starts to spend money that they don’t have. Also, lottery proceeds are a form of taxation and the percentage that the state keeps is hidden from consumers, which may make it hard for them to see that they are paying an implicit tax. This makes it difficult to sell the idea that lotteries are a good thing for society. However, there are some who believe that it is a moral obligation to participate in lotteries, particularly if they can help children and other worthy causes. Others simply want to enjoy the thrill of playing them. This article was published in the December 2010 issue of “The Christian Century”. Click here to subscribe.