The Lottery

The lottery is a popular gambling game in which numbers are drawn for prizes, with the winners being selected at random. It is typically regulated by law and marketed by state-sponsored organizations in a variety of ways, including online and on television. Lottery ticket security features include an opaque covering with a confusing pattern printed on the front and back, a coded number that is unique to each ticket, and a special coating that prevents candling, delamination, and wicking of the numbers.

The story opens by saying “The children assembled first, of course.” This is a very interesting use of word choice, as the children are not typically seen as innocent and in this case they are about to partake in murder. Jackson uses the term to convey the idea that it is normal for children to be the first in line and that this is an event that has always taken place. This is a good way to show that the morals of the town have changed and that the people do not view the lottery as wrong or murder.

One of the key issues that has emerged around the lottery is the question of how governments at any level can manage an activity that they profit from. The principal argument used to support the adoption of lotteries in every state has been that the activity generates a significant amount of “painless” revenue (players voluntarily spend their money) that can be used for government purposes. However, critics point out that the revenue is not really free and that the activities associated with running a lottery can be surprisingly costly.