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The drawing of lots is often carried out by putting a number of lots (items) in a container (e.g. a bowl). The lots are then mixed and drawn one by one in random order. Who is allowed to draw the lots from the bowl depends on what the purpose is.

A "lot" is often just a small piece of paper (a ticket) with something written on it. Sometimes other items are used, e.g. balls or straws. It's important that the lots are easy to mix and that it's not possible to tell the difference for the person(s) who draw the lots.

A common application of drawing lots is in lotteries and raffles where people often pay for having the chance of winning various prizes. This is sometimes used as a method for collecting money for charity or non-profit organisations. The lottery tickets are often numbered. Which numbers that win can be decided up-front but then it's important that the tickets are drawn randomly without knowing what the numbers are beforehand. If the winning numbers are decided with the help of drawing lots, after all tickets have been sold, it's possible to let the participants themselves decide which numbers they want.

To simulate a lottery with numbered tickets on this page you can enter the lowest and highest number on the same line with a hyphen in between. For example, 1-100 generates all lottery tickets from one to hundred. If you're not interested in numbers, but only want to know if it's a win or not, you can put each type of ticket on its own line with the number of tickets within parentheses at the end of the line. Win (5), no win (20) results in five winning lottery tickets and twenty tickets with no win.

The process of drawing lots can also be used to assign a number of items or responsibilities to equally many persons. Either each person can write their name on a piece of paper and then one is drawn for each item in turn to decide who gets what, or the items can instead be written on pieces of paper and the persons then get to draw one each. This can for instance be used to hand out household chores among family members.

When there are no more than two outcomes you can just as well flip coins instead.

Throw one or more dice at the same time. The dice can have any number of sides you wish.