Is Playing the Lottery a Sin? What the Bible Says (2023)

Have you ever wondered if you are acting against the teachings of the Bible and God’s will when you play the lottery? It is normal for Christians to wonder whether playing the lottery is a sin or not, and that answer is usually not easily achieved unless you know the Bible too well.

Therefore, together, we will review what the Holy Scripture tells us about not only the lottery but also everything else connected to it: lots of money, luxury, and gambling. My purpose is to, once and for all, answer your question regarding if the lottery is a sinful activity or not. To put your thoughts at ease, I can start by saying that it all comes down to who you truly are.

Quick Jump

  • Is the Lottery Equivalent to Gambling?
  • What Does the Bible Say About the Lottery?
  • How to Remain a Christian and Play the Lottery?
  • Can Christians Pray to Win the Lottery?
  • 3 Bible Teachings About the Lottery
  • Is It a Sin If You Play the Lottery?
  • FAQs

Is the Lottery Equivalent to Gambling?

Before anything else, it is important to define whether we can consider lottery and gambling the same, as that has a great impact on our interpretation. First, gambling can be defined as:

Taking a risk with something of value in the hopes of gaining through uncertain results determined by chance.

When we play the lottery, we purchase a ticket with our money (risking something of value), hoping that we will win a prize (hopes of gain) in a completely random drawing (uncertain results determined by chance). Therefore, the lottery is a form of gambling.

What Does the Bible Say About the Lottery?

The reason why most people are not certain about if the lottery is a sin or not, even those who study the Bible, is that the Book of Books does not mention it literally. In fact, not even “gambling” is mentioned at any moment.

Therefore, we shall interpret according to what the Bible says in connection with the behaviors and beliefs that the lottery usually implies. In other words, looking out for ways of winning money, wishing to win great sums, becoming rich, and everything else.

In most parts, the Holy Scriptures warn us of the dangers connected to money, mostly because it can and will drive us away from God if we are not careful. Some of the passages that make it clear include:

Proverbs 13:11

“Wealth gained hastily or by fraud will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”

(Proverbs 13:11)

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Gaining wealth in a hasty manner is not only the result but also the purpose of playing the lottery. That is far from being a prohibition, but it is a warning of how treacherous the incredible situation of winning the lottery may be.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 and Timothy 6:10

“Whoever loves money never has enough…This, too, is meaningless.”

(Ecclesiastes 5:10)

Another warning to the fact that winning the lottery should not be your utmost goal in life as a Christian. In order to ease your heart, we can also conclude that the problem lies in loving money, but you may conquer it and make good Christian use of it without turning away from God. Also:

“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (Timothy 6:10)

Again, the sacred word, inspired by the breath of God, warns us of the perils hidden in the dream of being rich. Nothing related to finding sin in playing or winning the lottery, but a lesson that we should be strong in our heart and faith to remain in the way of the Lord while playing the lottery.

Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 19:21

Following our line of thought, besides warnings about the dangers of losing your faith to the love of money, the Bible has more to say about focusing on becoming rich. Starting with:

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
(Hebrews 13:5)

Together with another warning to the love of money, Hebrews 13:5 highlights that God has said that He will never leave us. In other words, no matter how difficult life becomes, your hopes should be put in God and not on a lottery prize. It is common for people in difficulties, even without love for money, to put their fate in the lottery instead of in God.

Furthermore, according to Matthew, here are the words said by Jesus:

“If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
(Matthew 19:21)

Therefore, Christians are encouraged to keep no love for their possessions to find their place in Heaven. Obviously, that goes against the will to win millions and accumulate patrimony. Still, you might as well use your prize for good deeds and only live well enough to give a comfortable life to your family.

(Video) Should Christians play the lottery?

Corinthians 10:23

Closing up the passages that can help us determine what the Bible has to say about playing the lottery being a sin or not, let’s analyze this verse in Corinthians:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.”
(Corinthians 10:23)

Since the Bible does not say that playing the lottery is a sin, you have the right to do it. However, it is not automatically a holy action, neither beneficial nor constructive.

It may be, and that relies only on your thoughts, actions, and faith. All those passages conclude the same:

The Bible does not consider the lottery a sin, but you shall never love money and continue to put your faith only in God. If you ever win any prize, make sure to continue in the way of the Lord.

How to Remain a Christian and Play the Lottery?

Anyone will remain a Christian and still have their place in Heaven if they are worthy of it, even when they choose to play the lottery. However, it is necessary to play the lottery without the love for money, which is the root of all evil – not just money alone, regardless of the amount.

That means you need to make your purchase of lottery tickets a light and fun activity, not something you are dedicated to. You might as well experiment with the best lottery strategies and even use lottery predictions with numerology if God has the major importance in your life. If you lose the lottery, you will remain calm and satisfied, and that is the Christian way.

A true Christian will know how to make the best out of the money won by playing the lottery. Not in luxury possessions or boasting, which is connected with the love of money, but through good deeds and helping the community.

Can Christians Pray to Win the Lottery?

Winning the lottery is the desire of many Christians, and a good number of them include it in their daily prayers. You might pray to win the lottery, as long as you know that God only sends us what we are ready to take and not carry the love of money in your heart. The Lord knows your true intentions, so only pray if you think that you are worthy of being blessed with the fulfillment of your desire.

Whenever you think about praying to win the lottery, think of everything else that you could be asking. If that is truly necessary and you feel in your heart that it will be for the greater good, you will not be committing a sin.

Can Winning the Lottery Be a Blessing?

“In the day of prosperity be happy,

But in the day of adversity consider—

God has made the one as well as the other

So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.”
(Ecclesiastes 7:14)

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In other words, everything that happens is so only according to His will. If you win the lottery, that is because God allowed you to, and it may be considered a blessing or a test. Therefore, whether you have asked for it through your thoughts and prayers or if it simply happened, consider everything we have concluded here and do justice to it.

3 Bible Teachings About the Lottery

We may reference the Bible in way more things than only when we want to know whether something is considered a sin. There are important lessons that go beyond having God as your number one priority in life. In my opinion, these three teachings from the Bible are the most important ones when we consider playing the lottery.

Find Balance

Playing the lottery for fun and not truly giving much importance to the results is the way to avoid losing your balance to the lottery. Let’s see:

“If thou be wise, thou shalt be so to thyself: and if a scorner, thou alone shall bear the evil.”

(Proverbs 9:12)

In other words, being responsible and wise will benefit you in the long run, while if you choose wrongful actions, be ready to face the consequences. As wrongful actions, we may consider wasting money that should not be used in lotteries, lying about playing, being angry or sad about losing, and many others. Basically, everything that is connected to problem gambling.

Some good ideas to play the lottery with balance and in the Christian way are connected to responsible gambling:

  • Bankroll management – Know how much you may spend on lottery tickets, make sure that it is money that you will not need, and never spend money from others to play.
  • Have fun – The purpose of the lottery should be to have fun through the possibility of winning and nothing else. If it makes you sad or angry, you should not be playing.
  • Find hobbies – It is okay to enjoy playing the lottery, but make sure you have other hobbies and, of course, dedicate time to God to avoid temptations.

Talk to God

Whenever in doubt, you may use your prayers and thoughts to ask Him to enlighten your mind, as per:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
(James 1)

God accepts doubt, including the one that brought you here wondering if playing the lottery is a sin. Whenever you have a question, or if you ask yourself if you are taking the lottery as a Christian should, pray. You will see that the answers will come to you, but only if you are truly listening in your heart.

Continue a Humble Servant

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
(James 4:6)

Regardless of whether you are only a lottery player or someone who won the lottery, as a Christian, you remain a loyal servant of the Lord. If you forget it for the love of money, despair, or hopelessness, you are getting away from His path. Everything that happens is for Him, and, as a Christian, you shall know and apply that.

Is It a Sin If You Play the Lottery?

We concluded that the Bible has no specific mention of the lottery or either any form of gambling, and it cannot be considered a sin. On the other hand, the activity is connected to the love of money and focus on possessions, which is the opposite of being a Christian.

Therefore, playing the lottery is not a sin per se, but you need to play it lightly and never make it your purpose in life. It is necessary to play while trusting that God knows and controls it all and that anything, even winning the lottery, should always be turned in His favor and not become your priority.

There is no need to prohibit the lottery in a Christian family, but those lessons must be carried out to any Christians who wish to play the lottery.


When Playing the Lottery Becomes a Sin?

Playing the lottery turns you away from God from the moment that love of money enters your heart, replacing God.

Do I Need to Donate My Lottery Winnings?

Good deeds and benefiting others instead of selfish actions are the way of a true Christian, but it is up to you to decide how that should be done.

Can the Church Receive Lottery Money?

The origin of the money that can benefit the church can be the lottery, especially because that means someone abdicated from it, which is opposite to the love of money.

Does God Decide Who Wins the Lottery?

According to the Holy Scriptures, everything that happens, good or bad, only happens because He wants it. Therefore, winning the lottery is included.

Does the Bible Forbid Lotteries?

No, there is no specific mention of lotteries in the Bible, only of actions that might be connected with lotteries.



1. Is playing the lottery a sin?
(The 700 Club)
2. Should Christians Play the Lottery?
3. What Does the Bible Say About the Lottery?
(Minister Barton Aaron Porter)
4. Is gambling a sin? | What does the Bible say about gambling? |
(Got Questions Ministries)
5. Is It Okay For Christians to Play the Lottery? | Real Life Hard Questions
(Cornerstone Television Network)
6. Is Gambling a Sin? Bible Verses on Gambling.
(One Reality)
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