The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

A lottery is an arrangement in which prizes are awarded based on the selection of numbers at random. Some governments outlaw lotteries while others endorse them and organize state-wide or national lottery systems. In addition, some organizations sponsor or promote individual lottery games. The purpose of a lottery is to raise funds for various purposes. Generally, prizes include money or goods. In some cases, prizes are donated by private individuals or companies.

A lotteries are typically conducted through some form of electronic or paper tickets. Often the tickets include an identification number, the bettor’s name and a sum of money staked. A bettor’s ticket may be placed in a pool of tickets to be drawn later for the prize. Most modern lotteries use computers to record and verify ticket information. Some use the regular mail to communicate with bettor and distribute tickets, though postal rules prohibit international mailings of lottery tickets.

The setting of The Lottery resembles that of many small towns in America. It is a place where people rely on traditions and are reluctant to change. The villagers in this story are blindly following the tradition of the lottery and do not question its gruesome outcome. This is a theme that Shirley Jackson wants to convey to her readers through her short story.

One major aspect of the lottery is that it provides a good source of revenue for many states. Some states have established partnerships with manufacturers to create lottery games whose prizes are popular products. For example, the New Jersey lottery offered a scratch-off game in 2008 with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle as a top prize. In other instances, the lottery partners with sports franchises or cartoon characters to market its products.