The main allusion in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson is where Old Man Warner makes the statement, "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon" (Jackson 3). Since the beginning of humanity, sacrifices have been made to make sure the harvest is good, or the rains come or for whatever reason. In Greek Mythology, people (usually young maidens) were sacrificed to appease the Gods. In the Bible, animals were sacrificed in honor of God. Human sacrifice was part of Aztec culture, who were afraid that without human sacrifice, their sun god would die. The Carthaginians supposedly sacrificed babies because they thought doing so would give them favor with their gods. The ancient Chinese also partook in human sacrifices as did several other cultures.
In "The Lottery," Mr. Warner alludes to the idea that if they give up the lottery, they will displease some god, and therefore their harvest will be poor. He looks at the lottery as something necessary for his community to continue to thrive.