A handful of researchers have reported a decline in the work ethic in America following examinations of the nation's workers. This led them to suggest that work values in other countries might be changing, and that patterns in these changes may underlie changes in global competitiveness between nations. However, conclusions supporting a decline in the work ethic in the U.S. are weakened by the fact that they are often derived from responses to the "lottery question." This single-item measure asks subjects how they would behave in a hypothetical situation, and has been shown to be inadequate for assessing a multidimensional construct such as work ethic. Therefore, researchers have called for future studies that assess work value changes over time in a more robust manner. The present study analyzed data collected by the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) across 25 countries between 1989 and 2005, including responses from 89,986 individuals of all ages. Multi-item scales for work centrality and intrinsic/extrinsic work value were constructed, and compared to single-item measures for each construct. Changes over time in these work values were investigated within the U.S. and abroad. Findings suggested that the lottery question may relate to some dimension of work centrality, but generally supported the idea that this item is insufficient for assessing work ethic. Results provided support for a decline in work centrality in the U.S., but suggested a leveling-off of the decline in the lottery question. Finally, the present study explored using changes over time in economic factors (e.g., GDP) to predict changes over time in work values; however, the results yielded limited support for these hypotheses. Overall, the current research provides new insights into the relationships between the lottery question and other important work-related constructs. Findings suggest that there may indeed be a decline in work centrality occurring in the U.S. and in other countries. However, specific reasons for this decline remain unclear and may vary across individuals and systematically across country borders. Future research should further explore this decline, and utilize other data sets to see if these results replicate in other contexts and using other measures.