In a small village, on a clear and sunny day, the residents gathered in the square for their annual lottery. The event was held between the post office and the bank, and it took about two hours to complete. The children arrived first, playing with stones and talking about school. The men and women joined them later, discussing their daily lives and concerns.
Mr. Summers, a round-faced, jovial man who ran the coal business, conducted the lottery.
He brought a black wooden box to the square, which contained slips of paper for the villagers to draw. The box was old and shabby, but the villagers were hesitant to replace it due to the tradition it represented. Mr. Summers stirred the papers inside the box, and the villagers drew their slips one by one.
As the lottery proceeded, Tessie Hutchinson arrived late, having forgotten the date. She joined her husband, Bill, and their children in the crowd.
When the Hutchinson family was chosen in the first round of the lottery, Tessie protested that it was unfair. Despite her objections, the family proceeded to draw slips of paper again to determine the individual "winner."
"It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.
Tessie Hutchinson was ultimately chosen, and she continued to argue that the lottery was unjust. The villagers, however, ignored her protests and prepared to carry out the final stage of the lottery. They had forgotten the original purpose of the ritual, but they still remembered to use stones as weapons.
The villagers, including children, armed themselves with stones and surrounded Tessie. Despite her pleas for mercy, they began to stone her to death. The villagers believed that this brutal sacrifice was necessary for the well-being of their community, and they carried it out without question. Even Tessie's own family members participated in the stoning, accepting the outcome of the lottery as a necessary part of their lives.