What is a Lottery?

A lottery is a game where people pay a small amount of money to buy a ticket, and the prize or jackpot is usually a large sum of cash. Lotteries are often used to raise money for a variety of reasons, including the construction of public facilities such as roads or bridges.

Origin of Lottery

In Europe, the first recorded lotteries to offer tickets for sale with prizes in the form of money appear in 15th-century towns attempting to raise money for town fortifications or to help the poor. A record dated 9 May 1445 at L’Ecluse, for example, indicates that the lottery raised 1737 florins, which is worth about US$170,000 in 2014.

The Lottery

In this analysis of Shirley Jackson’s novel, “The Lottery,” the main character is drawn to a lottery that has become an integral part of village life. The narrator notes that this lottery is not unlike square dances, the teenage club or Halloween programs, and it seems to be just another of Mr. Summers’ “civic activities.”

Tradition and the Law

In many societies, traditions are important in determining how society will function. In the case of the lottery in The Lottery, tradition is so strong that no one can bring themselves to change it even when the odds are against them.