A lottery is a method of choosing winners by drawing lots. It is used to award a prize or distribute goods and services that would be difficult to assign by other means. Examples include a lottery for subsidized housing units or kindergarten placements. Generally, participants pay for tickets and are selected by chance. The prize money is usually a large amount of cash.

In this story, the Lottery is an ancient tradition in the small town of Hutchinson. It started for a number of reasons but most likely the original motive was that it brought rain and abundant crops. It also produced the most good because it helped the people of the town. The Lottery is an example of utilitarianism which suggests that one should do the greatest good for the most people.

The Lottery is run by Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves who represent authority. They carry out the Lottery with a black box. The head of each family draws a slip of paper from the box. Only one of the slips has a big black spot on it. If the head of a household draws that slip they must draw again.

The story shows that people are willing to take a risk for the chance of winning a large sum of money. However, the odds are very low. This story reflects the fact that evil can happen in a peaceful, small-town setting. It also demonstrates that people should stand up against authority and challenge the status quo when it is not right.