The Lottery – How People Are Manipulated


The lottery is a popular form of gambling that raises billions of dollars for state governments. Many people play it because they enjoy it, but others believe that it will improve their lives if they win. While it’s difficult to determine the true odds of winning, researchers have studied the behavior of lottery players and found some interesting patterns.

One of the reasons why people make decisions that are socially acceptable is because they feel obligated to obey authority. The town’s old man, Old Man Warner, represents this type of authority in the story “The Lottery.” He explains that the tradition of human sacrifice has always been carried out on the first Tuesday after June. This is based on the idea that human blood will help with corn growth.

Jackson’s story also illustrates how easily people can be manipulated through appeals to tradition and ritual. The villagers are shown to greet and interact with each other in a friendly and normal manner and then be willing to commit acts of violence without question. When Tessie Hutchinson cries out that the lottery was not fair, it’s clear to readers that she has come to realize that she is being used.

Studies of the development of state lotteries have found that they often begin with a limited number of simple games and then expand as a result of pressure to increase revenues. While these pressures may be legitimate, they can lead to an undesirable outcome where a state’s financial health is deemed more important than the morality of its citizens.