We examine how the binomial distribution B(n,p) arises as the distribution S
of an arbitrary sequence of Bernoulli variables. It is shown that B(n,p) arises in infinitely many ways as the distribution of dependent and non-identical Bernoulli variables, and arises uniquely as that of independent Bernoulli variables. A number of illustrative examples are given. The cases B(2,p) and B(3,p) are completely analyzed to bring out some of the intrinsic properties of the binomial distribution. The conditions under which S
follows B(n,p), given that S
n-1 is not necessarily a binomial variable, are investigated. Several natural characterizations of B(n,p), including one which relates the binomial distributions and the Poisson process, are also given. These results and characterizations lead to a better understanding of the nature of the binomial distribution and enhance the utility.