The Truth About the Lottery


The lottery is a way to raise money by selling tickets with numbers on them. The numbers are drawn by chance and the people with those numbers win prizes. The number of prizes and the amount of money that can be won vary depending on the size of the prize pool. Lottery is a popular form of gambling and it is a great source of income for many states.

In the US, Americans spend over $80 billion on lottery tickets every year. However, the chances of winning are low. It’s important to remember that the money spent on lottery tickets could be better used for things like building an emergency fund or paying off debt.

While some people play for fun, others believe that winning the lottery will give them a life of luxury. In reality, the odds of winning are slim and people can often find themselves worse off than they were before. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to win the lottery, you can actually lose your home and end up bankrupt in a few years.

The central theme of the story is the effect of tradition and custom on people’s lives. Shirley Jackson uses images all throughout the story that identify with this general topic. For example, the children’s names are based on Biblical characters. The last name Delacroix means the cross, which is an ironic choice given that the people in the story are obsessed with their lottery tradition and may think it is God’s will.