Why Does “a Lot” Mean a Large Quantity and Where Did the Word “Lot” Come From?

It takes a lot of people to play a lottery or there won’t be enough money to make the prize worthwhile.

Lot is from the word lottery, a very ancient practice from a time when people cast marked pebbles into a pot and then selected a winner through a draw.

To “throw in your lot” with the others meant you had joined them in the gamble.

A lot, meaning a large quantity, took its meaning from the many balls or entrants in the lottery pool.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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