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Is Playing The Lottery OK

Is it a sin for Christians to play the lottery?

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 ---Steve on 8/21/07
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Alan of UK--//And that I think is a sin, because you winning money means that others will have lost it..//

And how does this make it a "sin"? Greed is a sin regardless of its effect on others. If others were forced to buy a lottery ticket,one might feel sorry for their "loss".

But most, if not all, tickets were bought voluntarily. They "spent" their money. (perhaps also out of greed, but we will never know) How can the winner be blamed because others didn't win?
---Donna66 on 2/3/11

Donna ... It is perhaps dependant on the motive for entering.

If it the hope that you will win a fortune, the motive is greed. And that I think is a sin, because you winning money means that others will have lost it.

But if it is a charity, where the prize is usually small, and you are entering just for a bit of fun, and to help the charity, I would say it is not sinful. (But I would say that, because that is how I play!)
---alan8566_of_uk on 2/3/11

John -- Mob or government, a lottery always "pays" something (as often as it is held). But the "house" is the big winner, whoever that happens to be.

Is it a sin? If the ticket/tickets are bought with money that should be used to pay a bill or feed a family,yes. And if it feeds a notion the Christian may have about expecting "easy money"...maybe. But most often it's the just a cheap purchase of a little excitement when the numbers come out. If it's a lottery held for a charitable purpose(run by someone you trust)...why not?
---Donna66 on 2/3/11

I think that the lottery is a bit of scam. The odds are against you and the more lottery tickets you buy, the more tickets have to printed and the less chance you have of winning. The house always wins! Lotteries and legal gambling casinos are just another way for the government to woo money from the poor,middle class and senior citizens into thinking they are going to hit the jackpot. Like anything, in moderation, it's O.K. but too much can cause addiction. I know a few people who invest in the lottery to achieve retirement savings rather than investing their money wisely. Like the proverb says, "A fool and his money are easily parted".
---heath6583 on 2/2/11

The orginal(Started in NY) intent of the Lottery was to close down the mob. Who call it the "Numbers". They paid more often and it was a better game and actually more honest with the mob.

So don't do racketering or steal.

---John on 2/2/11

Obewan-- What makes you so sure gambling profits are used in support of the school system?
Just because they TELL you that to make you vote for gambling, doesn't make it true. In some places the income is dedicated to "park beautification". Like "schools"...everybody is for that, right?
Would you be as likely to vote for gambling if the proceeds went into the "general fund" of the state? Possibly not, but chances are that's exactly how it is used.

Last state I lived in, it turned out that practically NONE of the money went where they promised. It's like SS. It was intended for workers when they got old....but for years it has actually been used for hundreds of other unrelated government projects.
---Donna66 on 2/2/11

I have been a xtian for many years, didnt know about the lottery until i started living in d uk, first time i played d lottery, i won 7, i saw the numbers in the dream and when i awoke, i could only remember 3 of it and i won 7.I dont play everytime, maybe once a month but i have strong convictions i will win the jackpot, i have won over 10 small amount up to 22 in one year. I am not addicted, i just believe that God can bless me however way he choses. And what does the hidden treasures of darkenss mean? or the wealth of the gentiles being turned in unto me? or the wealth of the heathen? It all depends on your perspective I think, nobody knows the mind of the spirit of God....just walk by faith.
---lilian on 2/2/11

"Are you going to spend it on our school system and lower my property taxes or use it for your own selfish gain?
And, I don't play $5. You would only get $0.50 out of me. LOL"
---obewan on 1/26/10
Spending 50 cents 10 times is $5.00. So you can still do it.
Selfish gain??? Have you ever asked the State government if they spend the money on selfish gain? Or, are you in the clouds thinking they do what they said they were going to do with the money?
Then is gambling 50 cents OK but $5.00 a sin? Pheew.... something smells.
Now, I can move into your neighborhood and that is sure to lower property taxes. Do you want that.....?
---Elder on 1/26/10

If you like playing these gambling games send me Five Dollars. If you do I might send you back Two Dollars and fifty cents. That way you will be much more ahead in the long run.
---Elder on 1/25/10

Are you going to spend it on our school system and lower my property taxes or use it for your own selfish gain?

And, I don't play $5. You would only get $0.50 out of me. LOL
---obewan on 1/26/10

If you like playing these gambling games send me Five Dollars. If you do I might send you back Two Dollars and fifty cents. That way you will be much more ahead in the long run.
---Elder on 1/25/10

The usual lotto prize here is not all that big. If you win at the entry level you get $100,000 a year for 30 years. A person would be well off but not rich.

It would fund a comfortable retirement with very few worries about medical insurance or other expenses.

I play $1 a week but I am by no means counting on it or holding onto false hope. I am happy to lose and fund the school system and pay lower property taxes as a result.

But if I do win it would mean I could give a lot more to the Lord as well as have some security from unemployment worries or lack of medical insurance.
---obewan on 1/25/10

I think playing the lottery once in a while is ok. As long as it's not an idol before God. Money doesn't solve all problems only God can through Jesus Christ. Money may help and make life a little easier. But it's not the answer to everything. Having a lot of money can also lead to sorrow and problems as well. I think as long as you pay your tithes, God is your Lord, you don't care about the lottery and only play once in while then I think it's ok. If playing the lottery once in a while is a sin, then investing (gambling) in 401K, stocks, IRAs...etc in the secular world are sins as well, but that's another topic.
---Kay on 1/25/10

The Lord has taught me not to partake in anything of chance, lottery or gambling. Since i was born, i have never won anything from chance or bets. Even during a Christian funfair occasion, any one that wins in a game goes to pick a ticket from a box & from the ticket wins a food item (bread, juice, sardine, nuts etc), what my ticket picked was a stone wrapped with "Smile, Jesus loves you". It was a painful thing for me but i learnt from it. All that we have is a gift from God. God will bless it if we TRADE it in a godly venture, but gambling or lottery is like throwing God-giving resources to the devil who does not want us to have it in the 1st place.
---Adetunji on 12/4/09

I believe that playing the lottery is ok.
It's what you do with the money when you win is the real question. If you are giving ten percent of your earnings to the Lord, then I believe it's ok.

If you are doing everything else first before yu pay God his portion then it is not ok.

God made it possible for you to when the lottery in the first place.
---bee on 12/3/09

yes i think it is wrong. Gambling sneeks upon us as we dabble in it. Same as with anything else, we have to watch and keep our eyes open to the sly ways of the devil. I see it as taking food and housing away from people, who has a member gambling it all away. Some children maybe, who does with out, while a parent plays the lotto with the groc money or the bill money and such then they have nothing.Waiting on a play of luck coming in just any day now. Our promises come from the Lord and HE IS our provider.I know the economy is bad right now, but also is the judgement of handling our money to get us into debt.
so many of us christians, lie to ourselves.
---joann on 12/2/09

Gambling is a game of unforeseen chance. Any lottery...are designed to make money for the establishment...The wicked ones...gambled for His cloak. ...Gambling is seeking the unknown for provision. We are to seek what we need from the Lord, not lotto.
---Elder on 4/15/09

1.) The stock market and 401k's are also a game of unforseen chance.

2.) Lotto is designed to make money for the schools. I am opposed to casino gambling that only makes money for the house.

3.) All sinners identify with the wicked ones who crucified our Lord.

4.) People who play $1 a week do not seek their provision from Lotto. Most plan to lose and have regular jobs that provide for them. Lotto does not change my dependance on God.
---obewan on 4/16/09

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The Bible is NOT silent on the issue of gambling. Gambling is a game of unforeseen chance. Any lottery, slots, casino cards and the sort are designed to make money for the establishment. Casinos are not built by people winning. The lights in Vegas burn because of losers. (Las Vegas translated = Loss Wages)
The wicked ones who helped murder Christ gambled for His cloak. You identify with them when you gamble. Gambling is seeking the unknown for provision. We are to seek what we need from the Lord, not lotto.
WE can make all kinds of excuses about what we would give or who has given after winning but it is invalid.
If you want to be a winner give to God out of your need.
---Elder on 4/15/09

The Bible is silent on gambling. However, we are not to be mastered by anything. It would only be a sin if a person played an excessive amount. I don't see how playing $1 a week is a sin. It raises money for the school system. The way I look at it, I either can spend a dollar on lotto or pay higher taxes. And lately, the stock market is a bigger gamble. I have probably only lost $200 in my entire life on lotto. My losses in the stock market are in excess of six figures! If I ever win, I would be sure to dedicate my life to volunteer work at charities and I would give most of the money away to Christian ministry. For sure I would have no more worries about retirement or health insurance for the rest of my life.
---obewan on 4/15/09

If I buy a bus ticket to go to work and my employer tells me that I no longer have a job, isn't that a gamble also since my job is also not guaranteed just like playing a $1 lotto ticket at a chance to win and if you loose, your money helps the schools atleast. I believe it is what we do with the money when we are blessed with it. Why is getting a new job a blessing but winning the lotto not? Both involve money, both involve action. Doesn't everything belong to God and is He not the one that gives to whoever He pleases. I think gambling, just like drinking and causing harm to yourself and others is a sin. But does playing $1 lotto once in a while cause harm to yourself or others?
---Aida on 4/15/09

is gambling a sin
is it a sin to gamble?
will gamblers inherit the Kingdom of God?
is lottery gambling?

the issue of lottery is difficult to answer because our world has coated it nicely and concealed it in so may ways

recently, a friend wanted to register me for the america lottery visa but i declined...
the thing is that the two people he registered to enter the draw both won and have been granted...... some of them have promised to also help their friends in so many ways

if i steal and give part of the booty to charity....does it make my theft no more sin?
no offense meant pls...
---patience on 7/22/08

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A strong evangelical married couple just won the Florida Lotto at $18M. They were humble about it and gave several million to their church and to Christian ministry. I would say that is better than having someone win who would go broke spending the proceeds on drugs casinos and drunken debauchery. BTW they were near retirement and had lost nearly 1/2 their life savings in the recent real estate crash. They played a combination of their two birthdays.
---obewan on 7/10/08

But certainly tempting God is. A person might say to God, "God, I am risking your money and my faith on the fact that you are going to permit me certain cards", OR horses, whichever the case may be. And Suppose you lose. There goes your pitiful faith right down the drain. Tempting God like that is wrong and Christians should know better. Gambling can even destroy a person, ruins his family, too. Some would steal from banks and businesses in order to get money for gambling. Which "thou shalt not steal" is one of the Ten Commandments, God's laws, "World's first bill of rights" which God intends for His people to keep, yes even today. Sin on top of sins.
---catherine on 7/10/08

I used to gamble/scratch tickets/lotto, and i can tell you this. God does not approve of it and this is why. Think about the money spending and what else you could do with it. 1 dollar is nothing but a dollar a day could feed a starving child in africa. What would Jesus do? play the lotto or feed a child? Does Jesus want you rich or do you want to be rich? When you pass away you only take with you your faith and good deeds not material things or money.
---Greg on 7/9/08

Where in the Bible does it say that gambling is a sin? Irresponsible handling of money is a sin, but I haven't found where gambling, specifically is wrong. God has used the lottery to bless me at various times. As long as I don't look to the lottery as my source, I see nothing wrong with it.
---Bev on 7/9/08

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When making a decision like this I ask my self some questions that a few scriptures bring to mind.
1, Can I do this to the glory of God?
First Corinthians 10:31
2. Is this showing my trust in God or a lack of faith? Matthew 6:22-36
3. Is this causing me or my brother to stumble? Romans 14 1 Corinthians 8
4.The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and righteousness, John, Is the Lord convicting of this activity?
5. Is it spelled out plainly in scripture as a sin?
---Jim on 7/9/08

I read all the posts and I think its important if we answer the main question. is playing the lotto a sin? the biblical definition of a sin 1 Jn 3:4 sin is the transgression of the law. So the, according to the law r we making the lotto an idol? This varies by beliver. Because its so easy to say the lotto is wasteful, which in a way it is, but so is buying a 23,000 car, 145,000 house and preaching Jesus is coming again. Matt 8:20 The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Second, what is our purpose for playing?
---Clifford on 7/8/08

Is our purpose for playing self or is it broader? Again, it varies by beliver. Third, is it God's will. God wants to bless us. Deut. 28. Beautiful chapter. read it. Is the lotto the way God wants to bless us? I don't know. 1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known. I end with this, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Tim. 2:15. God bless
---Clifford on 7/8/08

You have my sincere apology Craig
---Marcia on 8/28/07

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Marcia and Robyn, I think you missed an important part of my posting. "If" God wanted a person to win the lottery, they would only need to spend one dollar and do so only one time in their entire life. They would never need to play it again. I was speaking to those who already gamble, not those who know the truth. The only thing I tried to lead someone away from was temptation by presenting a hard and real fact written as an allegory.
---Craig on 8/28/07

We are to put our trust and faith in Christ Alone" ...a sure thing!

Jesus is NOT a game of Chance, and Christians don't live by LUCK.

By Faith we are partakers of His divine nature having nothing to do with Chance or Luck,(Heaven help us all if that were so!)

but by a SURE HOPE.
---kathr4453 on 8/28/07

For the love of money is evil..The money is okay,its how we deal with it,how we use it.many worship their money..I bought a lottery once n won helped pay my mortgage n helped pay 4my kids homes..whats wrong with that? I gave away some 2 charity..n family..the rest is invested 4my retirement..whats wrong with that I had nothing then..yes its a sin if u make a habit of doing it religiously..I only did it once..I robbed others of their money?? Ididnt ask them 2buy lottery..they did it willingly.
---jana on 8/28/07

Cynthia: "If you buy a raffle ticket and the money is being used to help a school, hospital, etc. then I do not see anything wrong with that."

Sinning because it's to a good cause doesn't make it right. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, does that make stealing right?
---Steveng on 8/25/07

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Hi, I never did like the risks involved in playing the lottery and stuff like that, but I once asked God in faith, when I was at my last dollar (literally!) if He would choose to bless the lottery ticket for me. To me, it was a desperate act of faith, God said "no" but He ministered to me in so many other ways afterwards--and still does. :)
---Mary on 8/25/07

I really think that this blog is the same for smoking, drinking Alcohol, eating meat, not eating meat, lying , cheating, backbiting, thieving, serving on Sunday/Saturday, re- Marriage... The list is Endless we all have our own expectations, limits, agendas, where we draw Our line, God drew it Miles up the road. Use the only true Guidance without speculation if conscience says No, Theres any doubt DONT do it for SOUL SAKE! No one is ignorant we just choose to BE!
---Carla5754 on 8/25/07

If Jealousy is a sin, then why does God practice it?
---Owen on 8/24/07

Yes it is a sin for Christians to play the lottery. God is our Father and our Provider, and He is also a jealous God. Do not provoke Him.
---Helen_5378 on 8/24/07

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1corinthians10v21 you can not drink the cup of the lord and the cup of devils. you can not partake of the lords table and of the tables of demons. god tables brings blessings. demons tables are sometimes
---mae_osborn on 8/24/07

In Texas there is no difference in a local raffle and our Lottery . A person wins the prize in both but it is our State Lottery that always uses 28% ,2006 1 billion dollars,put into our School Fund. They are both games of chance,I don't see the difference. Does it really matter if you win,both games you buy to play,taking a chance.
---Darlene_1 on 8/24/07

Rebecca ... we obviously have different defnitions of lottery & raffle.
My point is that our MOTIVE for buying the ticket is the important indicator.
For small prizes, we just buy to give money to the charity, and don't care about not winning anything.
If we buy in the hope of winning, that is something else
---alan_of_UK on 8/24/07

There is no difference between gambling in Vegas, playing the lottery or raffles. It is all money that you are putting up that says you "might" win. All those huge casinos in Vegas were built by losers.
---Susie on 8/23/07

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Susie ... maybe in the US but very seldom here.
I am surprised that Rebecca is so interested in winning, rather than in helping the charity, or non-profit organisation
---alan_of_UK on 8/23/07

As does the lotter bring money to causes such as hospitals, schools, elderly. The Wal-mart where I live will have raffle tickets for prizes such as hunting items and 4 -wheelers. There is no difference, one is taking a chance on something.
---Rebecca_D on 8/23/07

Craig: Anything the world approves of and or drawn to, you know God is not in it. The Lottery is a tool of satan, as I have already stated, to relieve gullible and naive people,of their money. A scam. Period. Oh satan is smart. He will let a few people win a small to large amount of money sometimes. Then the hammer falls on the rest. A sucker is born every minute is a true saying.
---Robyn on 8/23/07

If you buy a raffle ticket and the money is being used to help a school, hospital, etc. then I do not see anything wrong with that. But if you are playing the lottery to win millions of dollars, is that not dangerous? Money changes people, and christians are not exempt. I have seen it happen many times. We are warned about the LOVE of money, Amen?
---Cynthia on 8/23/07

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Your post sound more like the words of Satan, tempting the flock.

Satan: "Give your money to the World and I will increase it".

I say pay your tithes faithfully and store up your treasure in Heaven. Don't be hasty to get rich, for then you will surlly fall into a snare.
---Marcia on 8/23/07

Who is able to tell how God will bless a person? Could it be through winning the lottery? maybe. One thing I do know is this. If God wants you to win the lottery, you will only need to spend one dollar (or lowest amount possible) and only do so one time.
---Craig on 8/23/07

alan.....There are always non-profit groups set up outside just about every Walmart in this country on weekends. They are having bakesales usually and sometimes sell raffle tickets too. That's probably what Rebecca is referring to.
---Susie on 8/23/07

I work with senior citizens. I have been shocked to learn that a lot of these people are hooked on the lottery or casinos and spend a lot of their money, which they cannot afford on such gambling. They are addicted. Its very sad.
And Alan . . . you are right about the definition of a raffle. That's usually for something like a quilt, a door prize, or used car and the money goes to charity or a good cause.
---Gena on 8/23/07

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Rebecca ... # 1 Our definition of raffle seems to be different.
In the UK raffles are run at small events such as schools fairs, and are for small gifts which have usually been donated. If I go to a school fair, I will buy a raffle ticket as a way of contributing to the schooll funds, and supporting the person whjo is going round selling the tickets, for this "fun" raffle will briong in more money to the cause
---alan_of_UK on 8/23/07

Rebecca ... # 2 I do not then hope to win the prize, so I am not gambling.
This is quite different from lotteries, which carry large prizes

WalMart here would not sell raffle tickets.
---alan_of_UK on 8/23/07

There are a few scriptures that denounce the principles behind gambling and lotteries which include idol worship and greed. God talks of luck, fortune, fate and destiny as foreign "gods," gods that people rely on. Almost on the same page as witchcraft. Jeremiah 6:13 calls it "greedy for gain". The Bible also tells us that we are to work for and earn our wages (Matthew10:10, Ephesians4:28, 2Thessalonians 3:10)not something received by chance.
---Steveng on 8/22/07

so do any of y'all that say the lottery is wrong buy raffle tickets? would that not be the same principle, just maybe not as expensive and not as big of a prize? the though just crossed my mind and was wondering what some of y'all thought about it.
---Hou_Dawg on 8/22/07

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The Bible says "Whatsoever is without faith is sin"... Romans 14:23
---Jen on 8/22/07

To whom it is sin - it is sin.

There are lots of Christian poker players. My husband is one of them.
---Andrea on 8/22/07

Alan: No there isn't any difference. If I buy a lottery ticket, I take my chances on winning or losing. If I bought a raffle ticket from Wal-Mart and take my chances on winnng a four-wheeler or losing out money. To me that is no different because I take my chances either way on winning something.
---Rebecca_D on 8/22/07

Where doe's it say in the bible that you should not gamble? I how it refers to the Romans whom casted lots for Jesus's garments but what would have been their gain, accepting Jesus was a bigger haul!
---Carla5754 on 8/22/07

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Honesty is fine. But we still have to stand on account of the things that we do. Playing the Lottery is not the best way to spend our money or time. Give the money to help someone one worse off than we are is the best use of that money. Or give it to your church.
---Roby_n on 8/22/07

Would God want us to spend HIS money on lottery tickets, or do you think He would be Glorified by us using HIS money to help dying children at a hospital such as ST. Judes? I believe the latter.
---Cynthia on 8/22/07

Rebecca ... I think there is a difference between the lottery and a raffle ticket, and it is to do with the size of the prize, and thus the motive for buying the ticket.
In a raffle, you buy to help the school or cause, and don't worry whether you win or not.
With the bigger prize on the lottery, you buy (and Mima makes this point!) on the chance that you might win.
That I think makes the rafffle OK, but the lottery dangerous, if not a sin.
---alan_of_UK on 8/22/07

---Cynthia on 8/22/07

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I think gambling like alcohol is only a sin when you abuse it and let it abuse you and others.

If I had a choice I would not allow legalized gambling. It produces to much pain but as long as we have it - pray that those that lose everything worldly in their desperation turn to God.
It is true - there is more praying in a casino then in a church.
I live in NJ and have worked in casinos - its quite an interesting mission field.
---Andrea on 8/22/07

and yes I play the lottery. Once every few months. If it were a problem I would not nor do I encourage others.
---Andrea on 8/22/07

Mima, thank you for your honesty. You will get a lot of stick now I'm sure but didn't someone one once say "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"? We are all sinners - sinners saved by grace.
---RitaH on 8/22/07

I believe it is up to the individual persons convictions, however, the reason for playing is important. Is it to get rich quick without earning? Tell me this, is it a sin to play the stock market?
---Greg on 8/21/07

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Matthew 26:7: "There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of
very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. 8: But
when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is
this waste? 9: For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to
the poor." It was just right after that incident that Judas went unto the chief
---Nana on 8/22/07

Are we trusting the Lord by building us a straw house like the little piggy
when we have the means to do otherwise? Matthew 7:24: Therefore
whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him
unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25: And the rain
descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that
house, and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."
---Nana on 8/22/07

Matthew 24:43: "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had
known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and
would not have suffered his house to be broken up." Is locking doors and
windows before bedtime and even installing an alarm system in our houses
not trusting the Lord?
---Nana on 8/22/07

I play the lottery too. Today in NC the "lotto pool" is up to 245 million.
Playing the lottery I consider it not a sin and as for spending a few dollars on it: Matthew 20:15: "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?" Debby3588 spoke wisely.
---Nana on 8/22/07

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That is between that person and God only. I know it is wrong for me to buy a lottery ticket. But yet, it isn't no different than buying a raffle ticket to help out a school or a fundraiser. The lottery goes out to the schools, Elderly homes, Childrens hospitals. So what is the difference in buying a lottery ticket to help out a school or a raffle ticket from Wal-Mart that goes to children's hospital? No difference. Your buying a ticket regardless.
---Rebecca_D on 8/21/07

Luke 12:13-15. Yes, absolutely playing the lottery is a sin, and any christian that is addicted to it, or for that matter, any addiction should confess, repent, and give the addiction to God and by His power you will be set free. Believe and receive!
---Cynthia on 8/21/07

No Christian should be gambling. If a Christian can't trust the Lord to provide for them, they don't need to call themselves a Christian. How could anyone say they are a witness for Jesus and play the lottery? Answer that one for me, Mima, please?
---Susie on 8/21/07

I don't know. But I do know moderation should be used. See Phillipians 4:5.
And don't be foolish - see Proverbs 14:24. And realize that the chance of losing is far greater than winning. Also make sure to provide for your family, and parents when elderly. See I Timothy 5:8. And to give to the poor. See James 2:15-17.
---Debby3588 on 8/21/07

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a Sin I wouldn't be too Proud of Admitting but your honest, truthful and fifteen pounds would make an over seas or even right there in the US an Orphan family a little better off each year, but if won everyone would be much, much, better eh! :) lol.
---Carla5754 on 8/21/07

Yes! It is a covetous practice.
---Marcia on 8/21/07

Yes I believe playing the lottery is a sin. I'm guilty of this sin. When the lottery gets real real high I take a chance, I guesstimate that I spent $15 a year.
---Mima on 8/21/07

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