Lottery is the distribution of items or services by drawing lots. It is often a form of gambling, but it can also be used for non-gambling purposes such as selecting members of an organization or awarding scholarships. Lottery is often used as a means of raising funds for public works, such as schools and road projects. This is done by having people pay a small fee to be able to participate in the lottery. Then, the winners are chosen based on chance. Financial lotteries are a type of gambling that involves betting on a specific outcome, but some are organized so that a percentage of the profits is donated to a good cause.
Tessie, the housewife in Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery, doesn’t want to take part in her town’s yearly Lottery because she does not believe it is fair. She is late for the event because she has to do the dishes. Once she gets there, the head of each household draws a slip from a box. One slip is marked with a black spot, and Tessie’s name is drawn.
The villagers gather stones and begin to throw them at Tessie as she yells about the injustice of the lottery. The townspeople believe stoning someone to death yearly purges the town of evil and allows for the good to thrive. This idea of scapegoating is a powerful theme in the story, and it illustrates how tradition can be so strong that rationality cannot overcome it.