draw lots

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draw lots

To decide something by picking an item, often a slip of paper, at random. Let's draw lots to decide who will go first—it's the only fair way to do it.
See also: draw, lot
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cast/draw ˈlots (for something/to do something)

decide who is going to do something by using a method in which each person takes a piece of paper or a stick and the person who has the paper with a special mark on or the shortest stick is chosen: They drew lots to see who should speak to the parents.
See also: cast, draw, lot
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
IN this technological era, surely there's a better way of deciding qualification than drawing lots. Unfortunately, the organisers of the African Nations Cup haven't found one, so Mali are heading out of the competition without losing a game.
Though tempted by Atletico at 10-3 to win inside 90 minutes, the wiser policy is to back them at 15-8 to lift the trophy be it after extra-time, penalties, or drawing lots; drawing lots being the story of their season in big games.
Bobeva informed that there was also a proposal to select the experts tasked with drafting the terms of the public procurement procedure by drawing lots.
The baggage handling at the quayside was very efficient, drawing lots of excellent comments from the passengers.
When they finally reach the land of Canaan, for example, the Israelites divide the land by drawing lots, and they draw lots again in Masada, selecting the few unfortunate swordsmen entrusted with setting the mass suicide in motion.
So, Seife suggests, instead of counting chads, the contested state of Florida should have relied on an age-old procedure for breaking a tie: drawing lots.
And yesterday's draw paired Britain with minnows Lithuania, with the home country decided by drawing lots because the two nations have not met before.
Football Association officials secured England's first victory of the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign by agreeing a favourable schedule without the lottery of drawing lots.
Four of the appointees will serve from October 2005 to October 2011 and three will serve from October 2005 to October 2008, with the decision as to who serves for how long to be taken by drawing lots. The civil service tribunal was set up on November 2, 2004 by Council Decision 2004/752/EC.
Before former Marseille, Liverpool and West Ham hitman Camara struck, Rwanda and Guinea were level in every respect and were facing the prospect of drawing lots for the right to join Group A winners and hosts Tunisia in the last eight.
Wales fear the dates of their big showdowns with England could be decided by the farce of FIFA drawing lots as their World Cup opponents try to stop what they see as a British carve-up today.
We ended up drawing lots to see who would have to drive them and signed a Russian later in the season just to get rid of the last one.