The History of Lottery


Lottery is a gambling game in which numbers are drawn to determine winners. It is sometimes criticized as addictive and socially harmful, but it is also popular in many countries. In addition, it raises money for a variety of public projects. In colonial America, it helped finance schools, canals, bridges, churches, and other private and public ventures. It was also a major way that towns raised funds for wars. In modern times, it is a common form of raising funds for governmental and non-governmental organizations.

In the United States, state governments have monopoly rights to operate lotteries. This allows them to offer large jackpots that attract the attention of the press and increase sales. It also gives them an easy way to fund public works projects without raising taxes, which is politically difficult for many states with anti-tax voters. In the late nineteen-sixties, growing awareness of the profits to be made in lottery gambling collided with a crisis in state funding. With population growth, inflation, the costs of the Vietnam War, and high unemployment squeezing state budgets, it became harder and harder for states to balance their books without increasing taxes or cutting services.

Shirley Jackson uses several characterization methods to make the characters seem realistic and convincing. One of the most important is to show unhappy characters, such as Mrs. Delacroix. This will make readers think the society is real and not just a fairy tale. Another is to point out the absurdity of some of the people’s actions.