A Lottery Magazine Story

Lottery is a popular form of gambling that involves the drawing of numbers or symbols at random for a prize. Some governments outlaw it, while others endorse it and regulate it to some degree. While the practice has a long history, some states have shifted from traditional forms to keno and other games with higher prize amounts or shorter odds of winning. Others have diversified by adding more games or expanding the scope of permitted prizes, such as automobiles and houses. Some state lotteries are run as business enterprises and focus on maximizing revenues through advertising. This commercial approach has raised concerns about the potential for negative consequences for the poor and problem gamblers, and whether promoting gambling is an appropriate function of government.

The story in this issue of the magazine, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson and Richard Brody, takes place in a small village in rural America. There are many similarities between this setting and the District 12 setting in the Hunger Games novels by Suzanne Collins. In both settings, the lottery is a powerful force in the community. The villagers in Jackson’s story are both loyal and disloyal to lottery traditions that have no logical basis, such as their adherence to the black box, which is old, shabby, and hardly even black anymore.

In the story, Mr. Summers, the lottery official, has made a list of family names and written them on slips of paper. He has also put one of these papers in the black box, and when he opens it later, the name of a member of the Martin family is drawn. The villagers then collectively stone this person to death. This shows that tradition is so strong in these people that it can overcome the rational mind.

Another theme that is emphasized in the story is that of hypocrisy. The villagers seem to be unable to admit that they participate in the lottery, and they also do not seem to realize that it can have such horrific results for some members of their community. The shabby black box in this story is the perfect symbol of the illogic of their loyalty to this tradition, which is so deeply rooted that the villagers cannot see the harm it has done.

The most basic element of a lottery is the drawing. This must be a procedure for selecting winners that is random and independent of the identities of the bettor or bettor’s tickets. The tickets must first be thoroughly mixed by some mechanical means, such as shaking or tossing, which is a randomizing process designed to ensure that only chance determines the selection of the winning ticket(s). In modern times, computerized systems are often used for this purpose. Many modern lotteries include a separate step for recording the winning numbers or symbols, as well as for determining if a bettor’s ticket(s) is included in the pool of winners. This information may then be stored in a database for future reference.