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The Truth About the Lottery


Lottery is a game of chance in which one or more prizes are awarded to people who have a chance of winning by an arrangement which relies wholly on luck. The prizes are usually cash or goods, and some of the proceeds from the lottery go to charity. Although the idea of winning a prize in this way is exciting and fun, it can also be a waste of money. In fact, it is estimated that Americans spend $80 billion a year on the lottery. This money could be better spent on building emergency savings or paying down credit card debt.

This story takes place in a small village where the people are gathered for the annual lottery. There is chatter as the participants begin to draw their numbers, and an old man quotes a traditional rhyme: “Lottery in June/Corn be heavy soon.” He clearly doesn’t approve of the lottery, but others argue that it has always been done and should continue to be done so.

The lottery is a popular pastime in modern times, but it has long been an important part of society. It was common in the fifteenth century in Burgundy and Flanders, where it helped raise funds to fortify towns and aid the poor. In early America, it was often tangled up with the slave trade in unpredictable ways. George Washington managed a Virginia-based lottery whose prizes included human beings, and Denmark Vesey purchased his freedom in a South Carolina lottery before going on to foment a slave revolt.

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