What is a Lottery?

[countable] a way of raising money for a government, charity, etc., by selling tickets with different numbers on them. Some of the numbers are chosen by chance and the people who have those tickets win prizes. The word lottery is also used to mean a game where the winner is decided by luck, rather than skill or careful organization (synonym gamble).

Lottery, which began in the 16th century in Europe, is a popular form of public funding for a wide variety of uses. It has become a major source of state revenues and is hailed as a painless alternative to taxation. Despite its popularity, there are serious questions about whether it is appropriate for the government at any level to promote an activity from which it profits. It is also possible that, in an era of anti-tax sentiment, state governments will find themselves at cross-purposes with their constituents.

The story begins in a small town on June 27 as the citizens gather for their annual lottery. One of the members of the Hutchinson family, Tessie, has a ticket that has been marked, and she becomes nervous as the townspeople begin to draw their slips. Suddenly a stone is thrown at her, and the villagers quickly realize that Tessie is the scapegoat. Tessie is then dragged from the crowd, and the lottery continues. As the story ends, it is clear that the town has a much more complex relationship with its lottery than we might have initially guessed.

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