I was in our local Tesco’s supermarket one evening (post-tarawih), I was with my daughter as she was enjoying a ride on the Thomas the Tank engine kiddie ride next to the lottery booth/stand where you get your lottery ticket and pick your numbers and take the ticket over to the cashier.
I noticed a Pakistani man in full shalwar kameez and a topi (skull cap) trundle over to the booth and start filling in the ticket. I couldn’t resist and said to him “paiee-ji kamaz-kam Ramzan neh mahinay vich eh kam tho chohrow” in English “my dear brother, at least in this month of Ramadan leave this habit”. He responded in Punjabi, “it’s for someone else” and as he walked away he looked back and said “anyway, it’s not a bad thing”, I said to him that even the non-Muslims consider this gambling and if they consider it gambling and we as Muslims don’t then this is a really bad thing. He mumbled something and went away.
It seems to me that there is a widespread belief amongst many Muslims that somehow the National Lottery and other similar lotteries are not gambling.