The Lottery


The lottery is a system wherein people pay money for a chance to win a prize. The prize may be a prize money, goods or services. The lottery is a common phenomenon in many countries. The lottery has become a major source of income for states and private companies. It is also a form of gambling and is considered legal in most states.

Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery shows us how quickly society can turn against an individual when the lottery system is introduced. The villagers in the story persecute the victim without finding evidence that she committed a crime. The reason for this is that the victim happened to draw a marked slip of paper. It is a chilling story and reflects the evil nature of humanity.

The lottery is not an inherently evil institution, but it does have some inherent problems. First of all, it tends to target specific groups such as convenience store owners (who are the main distributors of tickets); lottery suppliers (heavy contributions to state political campaigns by these suppliers are frequently reported); teachers (in states in which lottery revenues are earmarked for education); and so on. Lotteries are also regressive and can contribute to poverty. Moreover, they promote the idea that wealth can be won by random chance, which is false and dangerous.