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A Review of “The Lottery”

A Review of “The Lottery”

A lottery is a game in which numbers are drawn at random to determine winners. The game can be played by individuals, families, or entire communities. It is a form of gambling and is regulated by state and national governments. In the United States, people spent more than $100 billion on lottery tickets in 2021. States promote lotteries as a way to raise revenue for public services, but it’s not clear how much benefit this money actually provides.

The Lottery

Shirley Jackson’s 1948 short story, “The Lottery,” is an exploration of the pitfalls of social hierarchy. It shows how societies can be organized around a shared sense of tradition and how easily that tradition can be twisted to exclude members. The story also examines the role of scapegoats, who are blamed for any misfortune that occurs within the community. This is a powerful story, especially for readers who are interested in the power of social hierarchies and the impact that these can have on human behavior.

The story opens with the gathering of villagers in a public square. The narrator introduces Mr. Summers, the organizer and master of ceremonies of the lottery, who carries a black box that is the object of the villagers’ reverence. He explains that the villagers prize this box for the sense of history and tradition it embodies, even though it is no longer complete. He also mentions that the box may contain pieces of an even older lottery box.

As the villagers gather, they begin to sort themselves into their nuclear families. The narrator then introduces Tessie Hutchinson, who is breathless from running to the lottery. She good-humoredly greets her husband Bill, who teases her about her lateness. She is the last to arrive, but the narrator assures her that she will be in the drawing.

It’s important to remember that the lottery is not a gamble, but a game of chance. The odds of winning are always bad, and the more numbers you choose, the worse your chances are. While there are some strategies for increasing your odds of winning, it’s impossible to guarantee a win.

Moreover, the winnings of a lottery are not usually paid out in one lump sum. In the United States, for example, lottery winners are allowed to choose between an annuity payment and a lump sum. An annuity payment is a stream of payments, while the lump sum option is a single one-time cash payment. Winnings are also subject to income taxes.

Lotteries are popular for many reasons. They’re fun and easy to play, and they can be a great way to raise funds for charitable causes. But it’s important to consider the effect of these games on state budgets, and whether they’re worth the trade-offs to state residents. Especially since lottery games have become increasingly popular, with their message that anyone can get rich with the right amount of luck and hard work. Ultimately, however, it’s up to individual lottery players to decide how much they’re willing to pay for the chance of winning the big jackpot.