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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Drawing lots was last needed at the African Nations Cup in 1988, with Algeria progressing to the knockout stage at the expense of Ivory Coast.
She specified that the draw would take place in the region where the respective public procurement deal was based, adding that the number of experts registered so far was insufficient and the authorities would strive to secure experts selected by drawing lots at least for big projects.
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.
And the draw has 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.
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.
BIG BROTHER contestants were caught in a saucy, nude pool romp after this week's evictions were decided by drawing lots.