What is a Lottery?

A lottery is a form of gambling that involves drawing numbers to determine the winners of a prize. Lotteries are typically organized by state or private entities, and most have rules regulating the prizes to be awarded. Prize amounts may be fixed or variable, with a percentage of the total pool going to expenses, profits, and taxes. The size of a prize is often a key factor in lottery ticket sales, with the top prize being advertised as a large sum. This can be misleading to potential winners, as the actual value of a winning prize is typically an annuity payment over three decades.

The events in this short story suggest that Shirley Jackson is criticizing humankind’s evil nature, especially in small, peaceful looking places. This is seen through the way the villagers act toward each other in the story. They greet each other and exchange bits of gossip while treating each other in a very friendly manner. However, the way they treat Mrs. Hutchinson reveals the dark side of their personalities.

The story also suggests that people should be able to protest when they see something unjust. Although it is clear that the villagers in this story will not stand up for what is right, this is an important lesson. It is possible to change an old tradition that has gone wrong, but it will take a lot of effort and courage to do so. Those who are unwilling to do so should not be surprised when society turns against them.