Python – How to randomly select an item from a list

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Assume I have the following list:

foo = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e']

What is the simplest way to retrieve an item at random from this list?

Best Solution

Use random.choice():

import random

foo = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e']
print(random.choice(foo))

For cryptographically secure random choices (e.g., for generating a passphrase from a wordlist), use secrets.choice():

import secrets

foo = ['battery', 'correct', 'horse', 'staple']
print(secrets.choice(foo))

secrets is new in Python 3.6. On older versions of Python you can use the random.SystemRandom class:

import random

secure_random = random.SystemRandom()
print(secure_random.choice(foo))