The lottery is a form of gambling that’s run by states. People pay a small amount of money (usually just a few dollars) for a chance to win a large sum of money. The odds of winning are usually quite low. Despite the odds, lottery is popular and widely used around the world.
The reason for this is that it’s easy to understand and simple to play. It’s also a way for the state to raise money, which it can then use to provide services like education. However, the actual percentage of state revenue that comes from lottery sales isn’t as clear as a traditional tax, and consumers don’t always realize that they’re paying an implicit tax when they buy tickets.
In addition, lottery profits are often used to fund things that the public doesn’t want to fund through taxes. For example, in the late twentieth century, when many states lowered their property taxes, lotteries became a popular alternative to raising revenue from raising taxes. In addition, the growing size of jackpots has helped to drive lottery sales. When they reach a certain amount, the games can generate huge amounts of free publicity on news sites and newscasts, which helps them to keep drawing attention and generating sales.
Shirley Jackson’s story shows that there are some traditions so entrenched in society that they defy reason and can be used to justify cruel acts. The lottery in her story is just such an example.