from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A lottery game popular in France and in the southern United States.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a lottery in which winning tickets are drawn from a revolving drum

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

  • noun a lottery in which tickets are drawn from a revolving drum


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • The intranet at my workplace mentioned a fundraiser at our company's UK office that featured "Cake, gift, craft and book stalls, a tombola, nail painting" etc. I don't think I'd ever heard of a tombola before - the OED online describes it as "A kind of lottery resembling lotto," which seems slightly vague to me, though looking at the OED entry for lotto sheds some light: "A game played with cards divided into numbered and blank squares and numbered discs to be drawn on the principle of a lottery. Each player has one or more cards before him; one of the discs is drawn from a bag, and its number called; a counter is placed on the square that has the same number, the player who first gets one row covered being the winner."

    July 21, 2010