The lottery is a game in which people buy tickets for a chance to win prizes. Prizes can include cash, goods or services. The odds of winning are typically very low.

Lottery is a common form of raising public funds, used in many countries. The word is probably derived from the Dutch noun lot, meaning ‘fate or fortune,’ which is itself related to the ancient practice of drawing lots for property distribution. Historically, lotteries have served as an important source of revenue for states and local governments.

State-sponsored lotteries began to proliferate in the United States after World War II, enabling states to expand their social safety nets without significantly increasing their tax burden on lower-income citizens. In the years immediately following that period, voters and politicians alike believed that the lottery was an attractive and relatively painless way for people to voluntarily give money to their state government.

HACA uses the lottery process to assign wait list numbers. Regardless of when you apply or any preference points for which you might be eligible, your application has the same chance of being selected in the lottery pool. Once selected, your lottery number will remain with you for the duration of the application process.

For tips on how to maximize your chances of winning, check out this article from the New York Times. And remember to set a lottery budget—and stick with it! This will help you avoid overspending and keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.