"The Lottery" is a short story by Shirley Jackson, first published in the June 28, 1948 issue of The New Yorker.
The story contrasts commonplace details of contemporary life with a barbaric ritual known as the lottery." The setting is a small American town (population of approximately 300 and growing) where the locals display a strange and somber mood, from which unusual things can evidently be observed, like children gathering stones, as they gather on June 27 for their annual lottery. After the husband from each family draws a small piece of paper, one slip with a black spot indicates the Hutchinson family has been chosen. When each member of that family draws again to see which family member "wins," Tessie Hutchinson is the final choice. She is then stoned to death by everyone present, including her own family, as well as both the young men and young girls as a sacrifice to ensure a good harvest, according to the belief of the community.
The main characters of the story are the Bill and Tessie Hutchinson and Mr. Summers. Bill Hutchinson is important in the story because he chooses the winning lottery ticket which is what the entire story is based on. Tessie Hutchinson, Bills daughter, is important because she chooses the winning lottery ticket within her family, and she is also the most outspoken character in the story. Mr. Summers is the main character in the story. He is the leader of the lottery and speaks the most in the story.
Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. New York: The New Yorker, 1948.