The lottery is a form of gambling wherein players pay a small sum of money and hope to win a large prize. Lotteries are generally state-run, and many states offer multiple types of games. Many critics are concerned about the amount of money raised by lotteries, arguing that these revenues are used to fund unrelated public projects and subsidize private profit. Others are concerned about the potential for addiction, as well as alleged regressive effects on lower-income groups. Some are also concerned that the lottery promotes false hope and erodes self-control.
The story portrays a society deeply rooted in hypocrisy and wickedness. The act of lottery seems to be beneficial in a certain way, but it is also a great injustice to the common people. The protagonist, Mrs. Hutchinson, tries to protest and rebel against this act of lottery but ends up being the victim of it. This retracts her acts of rebellion and shows the wicked nature of human beings.
The act of drawing lots has a long record in human history, including numerous instances in the Bible. Its use for material gain is of more recent origin, however. The first recorded lottery was held in Bruges, Belgium in 1466. The term is derived from the Dutch word lot (meaning “fate”), or perhaps a calque of Middle French loterie (“action of drawing lots”). Historically, prizes have been mostly entertainment-related, but some have included land and slaves. In the present era, prizes are typically cash and frequently earmarked for specific purposes.