What is the Lottery?


Lottery is a popular form of gambling in which numbers are drawn to win a prize. It is a game that can be fun and exciting and it also helps fund charities. It is a popular choice for people who are looking to have a little bit of extra cash and it can also help make some lucky people millionaires. However, like most things it has its negative aspects. The main problem with lottery is that it can ruin people’s lives if they become addicted to it. However, if it is played responsibly it can be beneficial to the winner and the society.

The term “lottery” comes from the Dutch word Lot meaning fate, and is believed to have been used for the first time in English in 1569, though records of public lotteries exist in the Low Countries as early as the 15th century. They raised funds to build town fortifications and to help the poor.

In the 18th century, lottery play was widespread in America as a source of revenue and to raise capital for the building of public projects such as bridges and roads. It was even used to help pay for a number of American colleges, including Harvard and Yale. The Continental Congress sponsored a lottery in 1776 to raise money for the colonial defense against the British, but it was unsuccessful.

Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” presents a picture of humankind’s hypocrisy and evil nature. The characters in the story greeted each other and exchanged bits of gossip while manhandling each other without any pity. Jackson intends to show this by having the characters’ names portray their personalities.