Lottery is a gambling game in which numbers are drawn at random to determine winners and prizes. It is a popular method of raising money, especially for charitable or public purposes. In the United States, the lottery is regulated by state governments. Prizes range from cash to goods, such as automobiles, boats, vacations, and even houses. The earliest known state-sponsored lotteries were in the Low Countries in the 15th century. They were used to raise funds for town fortifications and other needs. Privately organized lotteries were also common at this time, and contributed to the founding of several American colleges, including Harvard, Dartmouth, Yale, King’s College (now Columbia), and William and Mary.
Many, but not all, lotteries publish detailed lottery statistics after a drawing has taken place. These statistics typically include demand information, the number of entries submitted by state and country, and other data.
The word lottery is derived from the Latin verb lot