What is a Lottery?

A lottery is a game in which numbers or symbols are drawn at random to determine winners. The winner receives a prize, typically cash. The drawing may be done by hand or by computer. A computer is increasingly used in the drawing because it can be programmed to draw random numbers or symbols, and to keep track of the number of tickets or symbols. This makes the drawing fairer and more accurate.

In the United States, state governments set up lotteries to raise money for public works projects without raising taxes. The games grew rapidly, and super-sized jackpots boosted sales by giving the lottery free publicity on news sites and TV shows. Lottery revenues, however, fluctuate and can be volatile. State officials must continually introduce new games to maintain or increase revenue levels.

When a person wins the lottery, he or she must choose between annuity and lump sum payment options. A good team of professionals can help him or her weigh the options. An attorney, accountant and financial planner can help lottery winners make the right choice for their personal situation.

The story by Shirley Jackson and Brody demonstrates the importance of individual choice. People should be able to stand up against the majority and challenge authority when it is unjust. The setting of the small town in Vermont is also a commentary on democracy. The villagers in the story show how the majority can turn against one of its own members.