Everyone gathers around along with their families and their children. An air of tension is revealed to the readers. However, the reason behind it is still unknown. Mr. Summers has been entrusted the job of carrying out the lottery. He arrives with his black box that contains the chits. Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson arrives late, and excuses herself for not recollecting today to be the day of the lottery. Mr. Summers reiterates the instructions, which is known to everyone: the first draw will be for choosing the family, and the second draw will be to choose the member of the family. It turns out that Bill Hutchinson (Tessie’s husband) has drawn the chit with the black mark. Meanwhile, Tessie starts her protests stating that the draw was unfair, and it should be done again. Everyone, including her husband, shuns her protests, and in the next draw his family is asked to draw a chit. When it is Tessie who has drawn the chit with the black mark, everyone turns around her, much to the reader’s surprise. What follows is an ugly human practice, and the village folks start pelting stones at her.
The Black Box: The Black Box represents ‘death’. It contains the fate of all the villagers, and the unfortunate one who gets the ticket with the black spot is the ‘winner’ of the lottery. Though the box is worn out, revealing the wood, none of the villagers want to break the tradition, though Mr. Summers, the head, has appealed to get the box changed a number of times. Also, the presence of the black box even before the birth of the oldest man in the town reveals that this practice is an age-old tradition, and no one has ever dared to stop it. It is even revealed that this is the 77th year of this lottery.
Blind Faith and Practices: There are also talks that some villages have stopped this lottery system. However, Mr Warner warns that it is not advisable to break the tradition, thereby encouraging such horrific customs. One such myth that is spoken is: “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” Thus, it represents that such a practice is carried out on a belief that sacrifices bring about prosperity.
The Lottery: The title is most ironic, since a lottery represents a win. However, here, the win is completely different, and the compensation is nothing but ‘death’. Also, ironically, Mr. Adams, who was discussing how other villages have given up the lottery, is ahead once Tessie is declared to be the chosen one. On the other hand, Mrs. Dunbar does not seem to be wishing to participate in this inhumane act, and hence, makes an excuse out of it.
Mob Mentality: Once the lottery results are known, the others, without hesitation, simply follow suit. They start pelting stones in the most inhumane manner, citing that a sacrifice is necessary for the growth of their society. No one seems to bother that they’re killing a human, and once they know that they’re not at the receiving end, everyone rolls up their sleeves to stone Tessie to death. Sadly, such a ritual also involves children, and they’re encouraged to engage themselves into collecting stones and throwing them on the victim. Thus, this ensures that they pass on such a bizarre ritual to the future generation too.
Innocence Killed: Involving everyone including children shows that everyone is at equal risk at the lottery. However, once Tessie is declared to be the ‘chosen one’, her ties with her family and friends is immediately severed. Her yells fall on deaf ears, and all that everyone wants to do is to stone her down. This symbolizes the cruel practices that encourages killing of an individual, despite him/her being innocent. Tessie has done nothing wrong. However, she is sadly the drawer of the lottery, and hence, is punished. Though Tessie protests that the draw has been unfair, no one listens to her, and finish off the ‘task’ in the most cold-blooded manner. Thus, along with killing innocent victims, subjecting children to such practices also kills their innocence.