Luck of the Draw – Meaning and Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Luck of the draw means the outcome is determined by chance rather than by choice or any sort of effort. It’s that universal experience where you pull a random card, and—boom!—your destiny is sealed. This idiom originates from the randomness of drawing cards or lots, a practice as old as time—or at least as old as card games and lotteries.

Idioms are phrases or expressions whose meaning cannot be understood from the ordinary meanings of their individual words. Idioms add layers of emotion and intent to your words, giving you a shorthand to describe a complex situation in a simple way. Tempted to find out more? I go into detail about this phrase’s origin and meaning with sentence examples.

Understanding the Luck of the Draw Meaning

Luck of the Draw – Meaning and Origin

Luck of the draw speaks to those uncontrollable moments when Lady Luck either winks at you or gives you the cold shoulder. It signifies that an outcome, good or bad, is entirely subject to chance rather than any skill or decision on your part.

Luck of the Draw Origin and Etymology

Luck of the Draw Ngram
Luck of the draw usage trend.

The American idiom’s origin comes from actual games of chance, like card games and lotteries, where the draw would determine someone’s fortune. It encapsulates the human experience of leaving things to fate, reminding us that not everything is within our control, no matter how hard we try.

You’re not going to win the lottery just because you bought a ticket. It’s all by chance, aka luck of the draw.

Synonyms for Luck of the Draw

Do you just want to mix it up a bit? Consider these alternatives to the saying:

  • Chance
  • Roll of the dice
  • Fate
  • Serendipity
  • Randomness

‘Luck of the Draw’ in Sentence Examples

Luck of the Draw – Meaning and Origin 1

See how this phrase can be used as a positive or negative with a few sentence examples.

  • Getting that perfect parking spot this morning while I was running late was just the luck of the draw.
  • I can’t believe I have to work this weekend; it’s just the horrible luck of the draw.
  • I’m sorry, but it’s the luck of the draw whether your application gets seen by the hiring manager.
  • The weather on your chosen wedding day is really just the luck of the draw, and you have to roll with it if you’re going to have an outdoor venue.
  • Who your roommates are in college can often be the luck of the draw, so I just hope you get a good one.
  • Sometimes, love feels like the luck of the draw in life.
  • The luck of the draw gave me a window seat on the plane so I could see the city as we landed.
  • With genetics, it’s really all the luck of the draw.
  • I got this amazing science teacher last semester, purely by the luck of the draw, and she helped me understand so much.
  • The luck of the draw determined the order of speakers for the author’s event.

The End of the Roll

Luck of the draw is just another idiom to add to your list. Remember, it means by chance or up to fate. You have no control over an outcome when it’s usually the luck of the draw. Try using this saying in your writing or slip into a conversation with someone. If you want to keep learning, I have an endless list of idioms right here on the site.