The History of the Lottery


The lottery is a form of gambling where tickets are sold for chances to win prizes. It is often used as a way to fund public projects, such as road construction or building schools. It is also popular as a form of charity. It is one of the oldest forms of gambling, and has been in existence for centuries. Some of the earliest records of lotteries are keno slips from the Chinese Han dynasty between 205 and 187 BC. Throughout the years, the lottery has been used to fund many important government projects. The first state-sponsored lotteries in the United States were established by colonial governments and used to finance public works projects, such as paving streets and constructing wharves. Later, it was also used to raise money for colleges and universities.

The story of Shirley Jackson’s short novel, “The Lottery,” takes place in a remote American village. Here, tradition and customs dominate the local population. The story is an allegory of human sinfulness, focusing on hypocrisy and evil. Moreover, it shows that people can become so blinded by tradition and their greed for money that they can no longer see anything wrong with what they do.

The story begins by describing how the participants begin to gather for the lottery. The children are the first to assemble, as they always are. Jackson’s use of the wording, “of course,” suggests that the children are very excited for the event. The other villagers assemble in a similar fashion.