When I first read this story, the ending took me completely by surprise. I did not suspect, not even the slightest, what the outcome would be until the part in the story when the characters begin to draw their slips. Here the tension between the characters became so much more palpable. The moment when the Watson boy nervously steps forward for his mother, and the crowd reassures him: "Glad to see your mother's got a man to do it."
Everything begins to fall into place here, and the reader cannot help but question the strange proceedings--why everyone is so tense, the characters who "grinned at one another humorlessly and nervously."
Tessie's reaction really says it all--her disbelief at being chosen and her frantic protests for a redraw reveal that the outcome of "The Lottery" is definitely not positive.