What is an example of irony in "The Lottery"?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The largest irony in "The Lottery" comes from the lottery itself.  Usually most people view winning the lottery as a huge positive event; however, in Jackson's "The Lottery," the winner does not receive fabulous prize winnings.  Instead, the villagers all converge on 'the winner' and stone him or her to death.  From the moment at the beginning of the tale when the boys fill their pockets with stones, Jackson carefully builds on the tension of the outcome of the lottery all the way through the story without giving away the fact that the end result is a brutal stoning.  Indeed, this is one "lottery" that nobody wants to win.