The Lottery – The Ugly Underbelly of the Lottery


The Lottery is a short story by Shirley Jackson about an event that takes place in a small town. In the story, people gather to take part in a lottery where the winner is stoned to death. The story shows the effects of tradition and how it can be detrimental to a person. The story also highlights how the lottery is a game of chance, and the odds of winning are slim.

The story starts with Tessie being late for the lottery because she was doing breakfast dishes. The story then explains that the lottery is an annual event where each family gets one slip of paper. The head of the household then draws a number. If the number is black, that family member is killed by the villagers. This is a way to make sure that all families are treated equally.

In modern times, there are many different types of lotteries. Some are used for military conscription, commercial promotions in which property or money is given away, and jury selection. These are not considered gambling lottery types because the prizes are assigned by a process that relies on chance and does not require payment of a consideration in order to participate.

Although there are risks to playing the lottery, such as addiction and the likelihood of a win, it does provide entertainment and raises billions of dollars annually. It also helps fund charities and makes some lucky people millionaires. But there is an ugly underbelly to the lottery, and that is that it can give a person false hope.