Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A game of chance similar to bingo.
  • n. A lottery, typically with an accumulating jackpot, in which participants play numbers of their choice in a random drawing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a game of chance similar to bingo
  • n. a lottery

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A game of chance, played with cards or tickets, on which are inscribed numbers, and any contrivance (as a wheel containing numbered balls) for determining a set of numbers by chance. The player holding a card having on it the set of numbers drawn from the wheel takes the stakes after a certain percentage of them has been deducted for the dealer. In some systems, lesser prizes are awarded for having some but not all of the numbers selected, such as four or five numbers in a six-number drawing. A variety of lotto is called keno. In another variety, the player chooses the numbers for the card or ticket s/he holds. There may be from three to seven different numbers on a card or ticket. In a modern computerized lotto system conducted by state authorities, the player chooses numbers, or allows the computer to choose numbers at random, which are then printed on a ticket that the player holds until the winning number is selected.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A game played with disks and cards.
  • n. Same as keno.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a game in which numbered balls are drawn at random and players cover the corresponding numbers on their cards

Etymologies

Italian and French loto, both from French lot, lot, from Old French, from Frankish *lot.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The New York Times considers whether playing the lotto is “irrational.”

    A Dollar and a Dream

  • I made a block for the Block Lotto on quilting. about.com - and I almost showed a photo here - forgot that it was still sneak peek time for the November lotto - so I will show it in a few days, when it's November, and the lotto is officially opened.

    Found them!

  • A block lotto is when you make a number of blocks (usually limited to 5 or 6) and send them in to a central hostess - at the end of the month, she draws lots for the blocks, based on how many blocks you sent in.

    Let the blog begin...

  • Even if this lotto is bluff, the american express business reply envelope is seemingly legal.

    Smart Mobs » Blog Archive » Coming soon in the Netherlands - The Mobile Lottery

  • The Downside is I didn't win lotto. $20 million would have been nice I guess.

    614 - swings and round about

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His neighbors say there's no justice that someone the papers have called the lotto lout can win so much money.

    CNN Transcript Oct 18, 2003

  • Outside of this, the lotto is the only other acceptable form of quick, overnight enrichment that does not necessarily smack of corruption.

    IOL: News

  • I did do quite a bit of sewing related stuff today, as it happens, but I can't show any of it - there were some blocks for the September block lotto, which is still in the sneak peek stage and some further testing of the October bag pattern (nearly done!) and my quilt group came around and we did some work on our group quilt, which in theory I could show, but I forgot to take any photos.

    Booty!

  • Would you show up to work, put in an 8 hour work day, and at the end of the day, have a "lotto" to see what 10% of the employees got paid that day?

    Endgame: Bandwidth

  • Jodi Cleghorn “… if I get this article posted up by 5pm then I’ll win lotto.”

    Digging for Perspective « Write Anything

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Between bouts of seasickness and depression the younger steerage passengers sang to the accompaniment of mouth organs, tambourines, accordions, mandolins, and guitars. When the ocean was peaceful, there was dancing. In almost any kind of weather there were games of lotto and mora; but most frequently briscola and scopa, the card games traditional to southern Italians."
    —Jerre Mangione and Ben Morreale, La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience (New York: HarperPerennial, 1992), 107

    December 17, 2009