Playing the U.S. Visa Lottery in Ethiopia

Brhanu Arezaynie
Brhanu Arezaynie, 19, with lottery form at the university's post office. Miriam Jordan/The Wall Street Journal


ADDIS ABABA—The line of Ethiopians extended out the door on a recent afternoon at the normally sleepy Addis Ababa University post office, where the lone clerk wasn’t selling stamps or weighing packages. She was dispensing a coveted lottery ticket—a shot at legal residence in the U.S.

While the U.S. Postal Service strives to develop nonmail ventures to keep it afloat, its Ethiopian counterpart has found a novel side business, mining dreams of America.

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