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[lot-oh] /ˈlɒt oʊ/
a game of chance in which a leader draws numbered disks at random from a stock and the players cover the corresponding numbers on their cards, the winner being the first to cover a complete row.
a lottery, as one operated by a state government, in which players choose numbers that are matched against those of the official drawing, the winning numbers typically paying large cash prizes.
Origin of lotto
1770-80; < Italian < Germanic; see lot Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lotto
  • Gambling touches almost everyone, from friends playing online poker to grannies buying lotto tickets.
  • All the money that used to be bet on the ponies now goes into scratch-off lotto tickets from vending machines.
  • As long as poor folk dominate those playing the lotto and visiting the casinos, then that funding mechanism doesn't work either.
  • My goal or plan is to read the local lotto winnings every week.
  • But we're not talking investing a dollar in the lotto, or trying to psych yourself up for an exam.
  • He scored a few small hits along the way, which nourished his lotto fever.
  • In addition, the three-point shot has created a kind of lotto fever.
British Dictionary definitions for lotto


Also called housey-housey. a children's game in which numbered discs, counters, etc, are drawn at random and called out, while the players cover the corresponding numbers on cards, the winner being the first to cover all the numbers, a particular row, etc Compare bingo
a lottery
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, from Old French lot, from Germanic. See lot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lotto

1778, "type of card game," from French loto and directly from Italian lotto "a lot," from Old French lot "lot, share, reward, prize," from Frankish or some other Germanic source (cf. Old English and Old Frisian hlot; see lot (n.)). Meaning "a lottery, a game of chance" is attested from 1787.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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